Where the sidewalk ends

August 5th, 2013 · 47 comments

David in California says that construction has been going on in his neighborhood for the past couple weeks — and apparently not everyone is thrilled with what the city is trying to accomplish. (David managed to document all of these notes when his leaving his house in the morning; they were all gone by the time he returned home that evening.)

What was wrong with the other sidewalk??????

Couldn't you come up with a better way to spend taxpayer $$

Whoever decided to change the sidewalks is a crook and a blithering idiot!!!

HONK if you think this roadwork is stupid.


New sidewalks = (burning money)

related: The Gateway to Contractor Hell

FILED UNDER: blitzkrieg approach · money · raging against the machine

47 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Anonymous

    People ought to mail these strongly-worded missives to their city councilmen or county commissioners – or, perhaps, even to their fellow voters, since most jurisdictions require public approval before spending taxpayer dollars on public works. The people who are working on the roads are just doing what their job requires and are trying to earn a living, just like everyone else.

    Aug 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   redheadwglasses

      “most jurisdictions require public approval before spending taxpayer dollars on public works”

      No, that’s why we elect people to make those decisions for us. The city council meetings I’ve been to allow for public discourse, but we don’t get to vote on which roadworks type projects the city takes on. I can’t imagine you get any more of a say at the county or state level.

      Aug 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   kermit

      Isn’t public outrage and people complaining about cracked sidewalks the thing that gets city hall to get road work done in the first place?

      If you’re complaining about city wasting money, complaining about road work seems like the last thing you should be doing. Unless they’re using mafia cement that falls apart easily, I don’t see what the problem is here.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 4:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   The Elf

      Whether approval is specifically required or not, the construction workers certainly aren’t the prime decision makers.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 8:34 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Snicklefritz

      Sidewalks would be handled through Capital Projects exenditures. Most likely these wouldn’t be voted on by the general public. The only time the public would probably be able to have any say would be during the budget approval process. An item like this would be so buried in the minutaie that you wouldn’t be able to hone in on it, unless you were specifically loooking for it. Every town, city and municipality handles things a bit different, but this is the general method used by most.

      Lesson in government spending aside, the notewiter is probably the same person that calls up public works every day complaining about cracks, or lifted sections of concrete, and would be the 1st person to sue if they fell and hurt themselves. Because as we all know, we’ve evolved into a species that can only walk on flat even surfaces.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   Nectaris

      Doubt it, considering my town was able to build a new road in a location many didn’t want. There was even a petition and a campaign to try and stop them, and it all amounted to nothing. So now we have a four lane road where none existed before that connects to a narrow two lane winding pothole filled road that leads to another two lane road, albeit a road in better shape.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   bluebunny27

    Second …. ;-) Oh, I see money wasted all the time … I never though about leaving a note there though … sounds like a good idea.

    Aug 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   CG bang

    Six question marks and three exclamation points? This person is clearly pissed off!

    Aug 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Poltergeist

    Because leaving a “LAME” note on anything you don’t approve of is clearly the best way to bring attention to an issue and enact change.

    Seems like these were written by somebody who is either too young to even pay taxes or too stupid to have their opinion be taken seriously.

    Aug 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   redheadwglasses

    Team union city workers.

    I’ve lived in neighborhoods where they redid curbs to include cutaways for people who use wheelchairs or walkers. I’m happy with my tax dollars being spent to make neighborhood living less of a hassle for people with mobility issues.

    Aug 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Kimberly

      They did this in my city last year as well. If it helps someone to get around easier I’m all for it. Also, they may HAVE to do it to be compliant with the ADA.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 11:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Rachel

    I’d vote for them.

    Aug 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Raichu

    Because annoying the people who are doing the work they’re paid to do (in other words – just doing their job and putting food on the table) is going to influence lawmakers several pay grades up the ladder. Obviously. Right?

    Aug 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   H for Toy

    I vote it was David who put up the signs and documented them to send to city council. When that didn’t work, he thought he’d try PAN instead.

    Aug 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Madrias

    Ah, I’m in two minds on this one. I understand the road workers are the only ones who have to deal with this, but I also understand that all those tax dollars get wasted.

    We’ve got similar going on here. They want to rip up all of our perfectly good concrete roads and replace them with asphalt. They refuse to fix the crosswalk signals at one of the stop-lights crossing a busy highway.

    Aug 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   redheadwglasses

      That is beyond stupid, Madrias. Concrete roads last much longer than asphalt! They are more expensive to install, but the payback is worth it.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 8:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Tom

      Is it really a waste if it goes towards keeping a bunch of fellows employed?

      I’ve been wondering if a public works “New Deal” sort of proposition would be beneficial. Our infrastructure needs updating and our people need jobs, after all.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   The Elf

      You mean, like an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (2009)?

      Aug 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   redheadwglasses

      Except that “new Deal” doesn’t have to include projects whose sole intent is to provide a pay check. We didn’t pay men in the depression to rip up completely good roads to make new ones. WE put them to work in the national and state parks to build infrastructure and increase accessibility, among many other things.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   Tom

      We don’t know what the state of the road or sidewalk were beforehand – perhaps it was crap.

      Either way, there are a massive amount of roads, wires, and pipes in the ol’ US of A that are in dangerous disrepair and we’ll have to fix them sooner or later – might as well make it sooner.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.6   Nectaris

      It doesn’t make it right though if you fix a road that was put in last year, while leaving the pothole filled road on the other side of town in place. If you want to spend money to give people paychecks, at least make sure it is a worthy project rather than makework.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.7   Tom

      I wasn’t referring to the ripping up a perfectly good road as the first part of the statement – that road fixing in general is somehow tax dollar waste.

      Aug 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.8   Madrias

      Regarding the conditions of the roads in question, there’s a few small cracks, but nothing I’d consider in need of replacing. They’ve been around for 10 years, having semis drive up and down them, and they’re still good roads. Meanwhile, there’s a road with a pothole big enough to rip a wheel off your car (one of my friends had this happen), that has no scheduled maintenance on it.

      Thereby, my only logical conclusion is that they are wasting money by ruining good roads that last a while and putting in roads that get crapped up every year. While ignoring the roads that desperately need repair, refusing to fix the crosswalk lights, and trying to petition for traffic cameras.

      Aug 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.9   operagost

      Purposely use inferior materials so that there’s a constant cycle of work? Have you ever heard of the “broken window fallacy”?

      Aug 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   valerie bang

    bahahahaha I love the one that just says “LAME”!

    Aug 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Larry Sheldon

    For extra credit write a 2000-work essay on the aspects of “shovel ready” and “tilting at windmills” as the terms apply to the sighs posted here.

    Aug 6, 2013 at 1:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Vivika

    For someone so concerned with wasting money, they used paper like it was going out of style.

    Aug 6, 2013 at 1:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   The Elf

      When you are deciding to use your own money for your own purposes, it’s one thing. When someone else uses your (tax) money for their own purposes, it’s another. Of all the things wrong with these series of notes, that ain’t it!

      Aug 6, 2013 at 8:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   H for Toy

      I accidentally have you a thumbs up, Vivika. I’m on team Elf with this one. Unless he’s stealing the paper and markers from work, he’s in the clear with his paper usage.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 10:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   ShadeTail

    Yeah, using tax dollars to make sure the sidewalks are safe and in good condition is a huge waste. Wait, no it isn’t.

    *sigh* Libertarians. I swear, not a single working brain among them.

    Aug 6, 2013 at 11:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   The Elf

      It is a waste if the old sidewalks were already safe and in good condition and adequate for the needs of the area!

      Plus you can always make a case that given limited resources, taxpayer monies are better spent for this or that purpose. (Schools, emergency services, a new library, etc). After all, just because something is a legitimate taxpayer expense doesn’t make it the *best* use of that money.

      I’m not necessarily defending this guy because I don’t know what the sidewalks were like before construction began or what other needs the county/town/state might have. But I can see where he might be making a good point. (A poorly executed point, but a good point nonetheless).

      *sigh* Liberals. Always thinking that there’s unlimited funds.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 11:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   Snicklefritz

      *sigh* always thinking the person on the other side is a moron and has no footing in reality.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   ShadeTail

      Yes, because pointing out that they’re using money for constructive purposes means I think there are “unlimited funds”. Really, The Elf, your earlier comments had given me the impression that you are smart enough not to make accusations based on facts not in evidence. You disappoint me.

      Do keep in mind, getting municipalities to spend money on repairs, even where the need is blindingly obvious, is like pulling an eye-tooth. Which means if the sidewalks were adequate, then they wouldn’t be worked on in the first place. So yes, it is safe to say that this note writer is whining needlessly.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.4   The Elf

      Only a Sith deals in absolutes, Shade. Only a Sith.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.5   Poltergeist

      I’m afraid I’m going to have to side with Shade on this one. Most of the libertarians I’ve met in person seem to think that the government spending money on *anything* is a waste…that is, unless the money spent directly benefits them. They won’t dance in the streets about it because that would mean admitting the government did something right for a change, but they won’t complain either.

      How much do you want to bet that the notewriter never even used that damn stretch of sidewalk and had no idea what condition it was in or whether there might be something wrong underneath not immediately visible. He didn’t bother to ask any questions. He just saw work being done to something he doesn’t personally use and chalked it up as a waste of his money. The situation was important enough for him to leave bitchy notes directed at the wrong people, but probably not important enough for him to make an actual effort to look more deeply into the issue.

      Anyway, regardless of political affiliation, with the state of many roads/sidewalks in this country, it’s far more likely that a road isn’t getting work that it needs than for a perfectly good road to be torn up without a good reason.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.6   justme

      Elf, I wish I could thumb you a dozen more times for your Sith reference.

      I’m going to make that my go-to response to people (on both sides of the political aisle) who believe they have all the answers and their way is the only possible way to keep the country from disaster.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 4:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.7   Raichu

      How do we even know this person is a libertarian?

      Aug 7, 2013 at 9:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.8   The Elf

      They’re objecting to a government expenditure! If you object to a government expenditure it MUST be because you object to ALL (or nearly all) government expenditures and are therefore a brainless libertarian.

      Aug 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.9   Poltergeist

      In my experience, yes, that’s how libertarians think. Everthing that doesn’t benefit them is a waste of money.
      There are many, many government expenditures that I disagree with, but I also take the time to look at the whole picture before I start complaining. I realize I’m not the center of the universe and that not everything the government does is terrible.

      Raichu is right, though. I have no idea about this person’s political affiliation. All I know is that they’re a moron.

      Aug 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.10   operagost

      There is a definition of a libertarian, and “seeking government largess for themselves” isn’t part of it. It’s fine if you don’t agree with the libertarian philosophy, but someone who is OK with government shelling out only for their personal interests isn’t a libertarian by definition (and that’s not a “no trus scotsman”).

      Aug 19, 2013 at 10:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Lil'

    Usually I find that even when I hate the inconvenience of road work, in the end I appreciate the final result. I work in a tourist area, so there’s heavy traffic and road upgrades are done often. I think road improvements are more often than not money well spent. I can think of a hundred other tax-paid things I think are a waste but no need to start the debate here. The good part about road work here is that it only takes place between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., so as long as you can navigate through the cones, your drive isn’t really affected much during the day. I think leaving notes for the people doing the work is out of line. They don’t make the rules, and bothering them isn’t going to get your message to the people who do.

    Aug 6, 2013 at 11:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   redheadwglasses

      I agree re: the notes. I’d be pretty disheartened to arrive at my desk in the morning to find notes bitching about my work.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   JoDa

      I used to be a fed, and more mornings than I care to remember I arrived to work to an angry voicemail about how lazy we were for not picking our phones up. So I’d call the person back right away. See, what happened was that the person calling me was on the West Coast (I dealt with imports, and lots of stuff imported into the US comes through the West Coast), so what was “normal business hours” for them was, like, 7:30 PM for us. And I’d smile broadly if they happened to leave a cell phone number and I woke the jerk up at 5:30 AM Pacific Time, or else leave a message pointedly saying “please return my call at your convenience between 8:30 AM and 5 PM EASTERN time.”

      The hostility of the public was certainly a consideration in leaving. I was regularly bashed for their stupidity (another example is people screaming at me about a rejected form, I pull it up to look at it, and say “sir, you forgot to sign the form. Please sign it and resubmit it and we’ll process it promptly. I see you took it into your local processing center, but you can use our online filing system, so you don’t even have to put on pants to re-file it.” Or something equally stupid).

      Look, I’ve had bad experiences with government employees, too. But we were FAR more frequently abused for THEIR mistakes/idiocy. I got sick of talking people down from the tirade they started when I answered the phone, which usually took FAR longer than the *simple* fixes that were usually required for their issues.

      Aug 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   katie

    About 1 km from where I live there’s this sidewalk that goes up to a gated community, stops where the sign stating that it’s a gated community is, then there’s a street crossing and a sidewalk on the other side of the street going back down and around to another road. A little loop if you will. Our city tore up about 3 house-lengths of nicely manicured landscaping to extend the sidewalk further past the sign. It still hasn’t been paved, and there isn’t even a crosswalk down there for people to get back across the street anyway. Even more annoying than that, the extension doesn’t even reach the first row of houses—it just lets people walk a little further before hitting grass again.

    This post just reminded me of that. Our half-finished, possibly never to be finished construction seems more useless than re-paving which could remove pot-holes and cracks, but who knows.

    Can we just agree there’s stupid construction in every community?

    Aug 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   redheadwglasses

      Wow! I wonder if the project hit its budget limit and they couldn’t finish it due to lack of funds? THat’s how Taipei was when I was there — a bunch of unfinished high rise office buildings. Each building hit its budget limit, and instead of figuring out how to fund the rest of it, they just quit building, and started over elsewhere.

      Aug 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   JoDa

      Actually, we have a different problem. The city wants to do things, like install sidewalks in residential communities where there aren’t any, and the residents WHINE AND HOWL about not wanting sidewalks or whatnot. It happened in my neighborhood…we had a SUPER dangerous intersection, and the city proposed a MASSIVE improvement to make it safe. PEOPLE THREW A FIT! Granted, the construction was a little bothersome (they kept at least one traffic lane and one sidewalk open on each street throughout, but it was a little inconvenient), but the intersection is SO much better now. Now people love to talk about how great a job the city did. SMDH.

      Aug 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   My name is Princess!

    What a waste of paper.

    Aug 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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