June 08, 2009

SLOW - Kids at Play

Coming home from work this evening, an interesting sight. Two yellow signs in the middle of the road, with the warning SLOW - KIDS AT PLAY

Now, I am not 100% sure how I feel about this.

Neighborhood kids have been playing hoops in the street for a few years now - setting up those portable backboards that are never all that securely counterweighted, and topple over in windy weather. Slow down as I come up to them, wait for the next hoop or break in play, the kids step aside, with a small amount of "lets see how close I can come to your car with my body or the ball" that young men of all eras seem to use to prove their manhood. Have not (so far) experienced the old slapping the back fender with a hand as one drive by, and feigning an injury, but I suspect it might happen some day.

And more recently, kids using the road to play catch (proving their lack of wits, for each missed ball results in a hundred yard run as the ball rolls forever on the smooth, flat road) or football. I am reminded of Wayne's World - with the street hockey - "Game On! Game Off!"

Now, for the most part the neighbors are pretty kid friendly - retired adults or families with kids themselves who tend to drive pretty cautiously. But we do have the occasional example of Hartford's vehicular mayhem - road racers screaming up the road on 4 wheels or 2, as well as the occasional off road vehicle, piloted no doubt by an underage local.

So I'm in favor of any attempt to slow down the traffic. But plopping the signs in the middle of the road seems like it might not be legal, a diversion of the primary purpose of paved roads (transportation). You want to play on blacktop, do so at your own risk (the sporting way), or go to a playground.

A couple of weekends ago, a nearby short connector road (on the WH side of the neighborhood) was fully (and by all appearances, unofficially) closed for a party - cones and string and a sign marked ROAD CLOSED, a car blocking the road, and chairs, tables, and an umbrella plopped down in the middle of the road (for no apparent reason, the party did not seem all that large). Again, noted with some concern as to the propriety of colonizing public spaces for private use.

Something to keep an eye on as the summer progresses.....

2 comments:

Terrence said...

Let me get this straight. Parents encourage their kids to play in the road, a road on which very dangerous drivers drive every now and then. Rather than give their kids a common sense lesson, i.e. play in one of those playing fields that are no longer used. No. The lesson they give their kids is one that will last a lifetime. Put a sign in the road saying, essentially: this is MY territory.

These kids are going to grow up to be road raging, territorial, get out of my way drivers. Thanks to Ma and Pa

Anonymous said...

That is the most ridicules assumption I've ever read on here. You can't judge how someone is going to grow up simply by a sign placed in the road.. Shame on you.