How mad would you be if you got ticketed and towed for disobeying a street sign you couldn’t even read? We’re talking blank–can’t make out a single word on it! That is what’s happening in one Massachusetts city and angry residents called Hank Phillippi Ryan to investigate!
Can you read this street sign? Look at it. No way, right? Jennifer couldn’t either.
Hank: Can you tell what is says?
Jennifer, Driver; Not really.
Neither could Ellen.
Hank: Can you read that sign?
Ellen, Driver: No, I can’t.
Who cares? You do. Because it’s a no-parking sign and should look like this! Many city street signs Everett are so sun-bleached, so faded, the words have simply disappeared!
Hank: Can you read that?
Robert, Driver; Nope.
Robert got a ticket as a result. And Melissa–got a ticket–and towed!
Hank: What does that say?
Melissa: Coming even closer all you can make out is the last park of parking, which is “arking.”
How can you follow the rules if you can’t read what they are?
Jennifer: Is this a joke? I can’t read it, no.
Nope. Not a joke. The signs are supposed to warn about street cleaning, which happens one day every other week. And we bet it’s not one bit funny to dozens of drivers on this list of unfortunates who’ve gotten tickets for disobeying rules they can’t read, and even less funny to those on this list of drivers who’ve been towed!
Hank: When you see that what do you think?
Melissa: I think it’s a little bit ridiculous!
And records we obtained proved in the last ten months on this stretch of Calhoun Street alone–someone got a ticket almost every street cleaning day. And a majority of the time where this sign is on Springvale and around this one on Ferry, too.
Robert, Driver: They should fix it!
And yeah, why don’t they? Well, no one at city hall would go on camera to talk with me about it-but in a statement insisted they’ve “acquired between 4000 and 5000 new signs to be installed city-wide.” And they’re “currently in the process of replacing old or damaged” ones.
But until the new ones go up–fair warning to drivers. Even though you can’t read the signs, even though the city is well aware of the problem, the city will still give you a ticket, and they’ll still tow your car.
Hank: When you called to complain, what did they say?
Melissa, driver: They said it’s not their fault, I should know the laws of the city.
Officials admit they’ve had the new signs for a month; have replaced some on Main Street and say the others will be posted in the “upcoming months.” It all depends, they say, on when city workers have the time to do it.