Welcome to Sign City USA.

This weekend we had an occasion to visit the bike path and athletic fields down by the old landfill site.  You know the place–down by the DPW on the east end of town.  It seems that somebody decided it was a good idea to put athletic fields surrounded by a bike path down on that spot.  As with most major projects in the Borough of Westwood, there have been mismanagement of funds and poor planning.

It turns out that installing a long-lasting surface there for athletic events is not feasible without a large expenditure of money.  Clearly the designers and developers had no clue that a landfill undergoes settling, or subsidence, as the debris underneath decays and is metabolized into gas and liquid.  That ground is not likely to support any permanent structure for a long, long time.  And apparently there’s not enough space for the planned athletic fields taboot.

But we digress . . .

The real topic of this exposition is the inordinate amount of signs littering our fair borough.  As one enters the site of the new bike path from Hegeman Park along Sand Road, he sees in the first 50 feet that the site is replete with signs, a condition sadly consistent with the rest of Westwood.  This absolutely disgusting display of professionally-worked metal, plastic, and reflective material is strewn about the site from front to back.  How do you feel when you walk or ride out to the edge of town for a little peace and quiet in a natural setting, and your eyes are greeted with something like this:

Yeah, that’s right–SEVEN SIGNS at the entrance!!!  If it wasn’t so sickening, it would be laughable. 

Certainly this is no place for one to find refuge from the crowded, sign-ridden streets of downtown Westwood.  There might actually be less sign pollution downtown!

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (1988 edition) states:
2A-6 Excessive Use of Signs
Care should be taken not to install too many signs.  A conservative use of regulatory and warning signs is recommended as these signs, if used to excess, tend to lose their effectiveness.

And might we add that the signs are just plain ugly!

by Mr. Westwood

3 responses to “Welcome to Sign City USA.

  1. On the point of signs, I’m in complete agreement. Practically in every direction we turn a head, a sign seems to guide the public roadways and byways.

    On Westvale Park I think you forget from where we came. The Kelley administration was spending a five million dollar loan to cap a landfill and develop a golf driving range. The Wanner administration came in and redirected the remaining funds, completed the capping and gave us a usable park without spending more money.

    I remember reading that Wanner said the goal was to bring in the sports groups as partners to develop opportunities for the assorted children sports. It wasn’t until the Birkner administration came in that we started to hear about wasting my tax money on Tournament Fields.

    I see kids playing football, baseball and soccer and having fun. I see kids riding bikes and skateboards and having fun. I see seniors and young folk walking on the path and seem to be smiling. If it is, as I understand it, we have a landfill capped and are able to use it while it settles and farts.

  2. All one has to do is look under Borough of Westwood Project/Contract history from Malcom Pirnie
    It is all spelled out to redevelope landfill. It outlines cost for fields,playgrounds,parking,lighting,irrigation,etc.So why is this mayor and council paying another engineering firm for information they already have? Oh yes the dollar amount is staggering.

  3. Took a ride on the “bike path” this morning, starting at the DPW entrance and moving counterclockwise. The Johnny on the Spot was a comforting sight. Whether you need it or not, it’s good to know that there’s a place available that won’t be locked. That was the good news. The bad news is that the path is far too short to be a legitimate bike path. It is more like a walking path. Nevertheless, I found one section that was completely submerged in water, and another section that was partially submerged in water. These conditions seem to be the result of improper grading. The many signs that can be seen on the sides of the path, regardless of which direction you are traveling, indicate that visitors are encouraged to travel the path both clockwise and counterclockwise. Most of the signs serve no purpose other than to advise visitors that the path is following a circular pattern (which is something visitors have already discerned for themselves). These small signs are reminiscent of props located on someone’s basement model train layout. While the props would be considered cute on a model train layout, they have no place outside of the basement or rec room of someone’s private residence. The “bike path” signs are obviously the consequence of someone who suffers from an unhealthy obsession with signs.

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