What does that sign say?

Apr 222007
Authors: Andy Nicewicz

Has anybody else noticed how awful the street signs are in Fort Collins? They are OK when it’s daylight, but when the sun goes down, good luck trying to follow directions.

The street signs just don’t have any reflective paint, making them totally useless during the night.

This is a typical scenario me and my friends have faced as a result:

You’ll get directions to get to someone’s house and you’re supposed take a right on African Swallow St. or something.

Whenever you come to a side street while cruising down Prospect, you have to come to a virtual stop in order to read the street sign that only reflects low-beam headlights from ten feet away.

As impossible as it might seem, there will still be someone going slower than you (probably looking for the right street too), forcing you to change lanes in order to pass them. As you are passing and they increase their speed to match yours, you miss a side street. “What street was that?” one of your passengers ask, “Was that the one we were supposed to turn on?”

You make a U-turn and go back to examine the street that you’re pretty sure at least started with an A. Unfortunately, it turns out that it was Armenian Sycamore St. You pull another u-turn and continue your stop-and-go examination of the non-reflective street signs.

This time though, another driver is riding your ass (probably wondering how anyone could be going any slower than him, since he too has to slow down to check each street sign), making it rather difficult to decelerate to a sufficient speed to actually see if you should make the next turn.

By the time you reach Timberline, it’s quite apparent that you missed your turn-off.

You pull another U-y, hoping there aren’t any cops around. Frustrated by now, you call your friend to get some sort of clarification where his house is, but surprise! He doesn’t answer.

So you continue cruising on Prospect, and by the time you hit Overland, it’s quite apparent that you missed your turn-off. Again. You make the fourth illegal u-turn of the night.

Your friend finally calls you back, and tells you in slurred speech that you need to “take the firth or so right after Lemake next to the house with windows.”

In spite of your friend’s helpful directions, you finally find African Swallow St. Now all you have to do is find Patagonia Cypress Ct.!

But of course you face the same issues that have been plaguing you the entire night. You call your friend again, and fortunately he hands you off to his girlfriend, who, while blonde, is at least sober: “You’re on African Swallow St.? No, no. You need to be on European Swallow St.!”

Son of a bi.


While facing a dilemma similar to the one described above, me and my friends came up with an explanation as to why the street signs are so dim. When you are braking, speeding up again, rapidly changing lanes, and making U-turns, it gives the police a pretty good excuse to pull you over. So when the police ask you: “Sir have you been riding dirty?” and then search your car, you can thank those useless, non-reflective street signs!

Andy Nicewicz is a senior political science major. His column appears every Monday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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