Check out the bizarre sign at the northeast corner of Ninth Street where pedestrians push a button to safely cross Camino del Rio and walk toward the Conoco station and the Animas River. Thankfully, I never use this pedestrian crossing because I have no idea what the sign means. Can you enlighten us? - Judy Griffiths
As you all know, bad design drives Mrs. Action Line crazy.
Whether it’s an ill-tailored sofa better suited for Jabba the Hutt or a boxy vehicle that looks more like microwave oven than a car, Mrs. Action will have none of it.
But what really gets Mrs. Action Line is when a sign requires another sign to explain the first sign.
“That’s just bad design,” she harrumphs.
And so it is at Ninth Street and Camino del Rio, where apparently people can “request green” by loitering on a symbol that depicts a cyclist impaled on a pike.
Maybe those bike boxes are actually “pike boxes.”
But don’t worry. No one’s going medieval. The only thing we’ll skewer is the Colorado Department of Transportation, which installed the odd placard.
“The symbol you see on the sign does not refer to a cyclist shish kebab,” reassured our good friend Nancy Shanks, CDOT spokeswoman.
“That symbol will soon be painted on the pavement, indicating where the cyclists must be in order to be detected by the overhead system,” Nancy added.
So THAT’S the problem. The weird sign refers to something not yet painted on the road. No wonder why people are confused.
But it makes sense when one considers the overall sign situation at Ninth and Camino.
Kitty-corner to the nonexistent impaled rider symbol is another equally obtuse sign that reads “Bike Detection Thru Lane At Stopbar.”
Action Line wrote about that sign this January in case you need to know what the darn thing means.
So here you have it: Two traffic signs consisting of 11 words and a symbol requiring two columns and 900 words to explain.
Granted, Action Line has a penchant for waxing loquacious. But those numbers don’t add up. Perhaps that’s what the “multi” in multimodal means.
H H H
The recent flap over Durango’s burgeoning urban deer population prompted loyal reader Jeanne Fowler to share her correspondence on birth-control darts.
Jeanne knows Action Line is vexed by the beasts, which destroy gardens, kill dogs and hit Mrs. Action Line’s car.
You read that correctly. The deer hit her car and not the other way around. It happened a while back.
Mrs. Action Line stopped to help a motorist who had struck a deer. Another deer bolted down the hill and hurtled into her parked car, causing nearly $5,000 in body damage.
So, when Jeanne got a response from Colorado State University about ungulate birth control, Action Line was intrigued.
Researchers at CSU’s Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory “are working to perfect two short-term birth-control methods that may eventually be injected by dart into wild animals such as elk, providing options for managing wildlife overpopulation,” according to a College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences webpage.
A drug called leuprolide “has been shown to be 100 percent effective as a contraceptive in mule deer and elk for one breeding season,” CSU reports.
Meanwhile, “a vaccine called GonaCon may provide contraception for two to three years and is 75 percent to 90 percent effective,” it added.
The CSU webpage is here: http://tinyurl.com/Deer-B-GoneDGO
Perhaps we could establish the Deer Affordable Care Act in which the hooved herbivores would have guaranteed access to free birth control.
And by “access,” we mean a mandatory dart in the rump.
This might prompt the deer to migrate to Farmington’s Hobby Lobby, where fertile does can frolick undosed in the parking lot.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you call the birth-control dart program ‘Not Tonight, Deer.’