Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Friday Slide Show: Stop Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

29 May 2015

Over the years since we first occupied this lot in 2003, we've been conducting a survey of the effectiveness of our nearby stop signs. One is obscured half of the year by a persimmon tree. The other is big bright and beautiful. But it doesn't matter.

Stop. The message gets through.

A few people actually do come to a complete stop. More roll slowly through, as if they were on bikes. And, frighteningly, more than a few never take their foot off the accelerator.

Doesn't matter if it's the stop sign coming up our hill or the one coming around the corner just below us.

To complicate things, it's a one-way street coming up the hill. And to the left of it is the barred entrance to a gated community. A few feet further up the hill is the short two-way street below us a few of whose drivers want to get to the gated community so they come down the hill the wrong way a bit.

To further complicate things, people like us do live on the one-way street and when we back out of our driveways, the people who don't stop nearly smash into us. And they aren't happy about it, either. How dare we.

Just to add alarm to the fire, there is a grammar school on the block with professional children paid to walk to and from school and cross those two intersections. It's hazardous pay, too, because SUVs dash up the street late to drop their kids off at school or hurrying to pick up their kids. And barely stop.

But sometimes they do wave to the pedestrian class of children. Some even roll down their automatic windows and bleat out a greeting.

Yet, in all this time, we've never seen an accident. It's a miracle, really. Although we have to confess that we are often surveying the scene with our eyes covered.

When the streets were repaved recently, the traffic lines in the street had to be repainted. We'd never witnessed that heroic act but this time we caught a crew in action. We couldn't have more admired the Blue Angels flying in formation at the speed of sound.

These guys were very fast, too, completing the job just three minutes. While staying in formation.

One guy lays down the stencils, one for each letter, while the other guy sprays white paint from a big drum on the back of their truck onto the black surface of the road. Paint down, the second guy tosses some reflective glass beads on the wet paint (well, all over actually) while the other guy marks the wet paint with orange cones (which the first guy precisely aligns) before they go on to the next intersection.

We have a few more important intersections done in preformed polymer tape. But our crew were real artists. They used paint not polymer.

The paint dries quickly even in the fog and the cones disappear just as quickly. And the drivers go right on over it, some stopping, some rolling through, some with their foot on the gas as if they were the only ones in the world.

BackBack to Photo Corners