Cobb County does a good job with street signs. There are big, yellow signs announcing small roads, upcoming curves or hills, blind driveways, and other potential road hazards. Speed limit signs abound, alerting motorists as to the maximum legal velocity. Stop signs delineate who has the right of way. And those cute, little green street signs pleasantly mark every corner, assisting those both with and without a sense of direction. Or a GPS.
Only now the street signs are losing a war.... with PLANTS!!!!
That’s right: plants. Historically, these green villains tried to take over each summer, growing new limbs, leaves, or vines up, over, and around our street signs. And historically, Cobb County’s Army of D.O.T. Workers stood in the way. Diligently, they drove their trucks around the county, hedge trimmers and hatchets at the ready to remove offending plants in their attempts to mislead motorists. These brave men and women fought offensives from kudzu, poison ivy, various bushes, and the most malicious blackguard of them all -- the trees. And before now, our Army always prevailed.
But not these days. Budget cuts removed funding for what the plant-loving politicians call “extraneous expenses.” The results are clear -- the rapscallions have begun to win the war.
At first it was small. A cluster of leaves hanging over a yellow sign, making it difficult to read. Or maybe a stray vine, climbing up a metal support post. Then the plants stepped it up, as whole branches grew out over sidewalks, visually blocking motorists from even knowing a street sign is there, nevertheless reading it. And the worst has happened. The stop sign for a small cul-de-sac in my neighborhood is now gone. Oh, you can see the metal skeleton of the stop sign, amidst the bruising botany. But the sign has been eaten, Charlie Brown style, by a tree.
So, what can we do about this? How can we save our street signs?
Maybe we could call our county government, and see if we can convince these green-loving people that street signs need love too. Or we can fight this ourselves. If you see the army of plants using your yard as a base of attack, do something about it. If a plant in your yard is attempting to cover a street sign, trim the infringing branches, removing the trespassing vines. And help our local street signs do their job.