Slow Down, everyone, everywhere!

Adam at Universal Hub caught a snapshot of signs around West Roxbury encouraging people to drive slower that were conceived of by Boston City Councilor John Tobin. They have spread to other neighborhoods in the councilor's district, but haven't made it to other streetcar suburbs en masse such as Hyde Park and JP. That doesn't mean the idea hasn't been welcome elsewhere.

Several "Slow Down Dedham" signs lined Sprague Street and East Street, including the East Street rotary at Cedar Street, during Memorial Day weekend in Dedham (obviously). The second photo was also taken by Adam, who must keep his camera in a holster on his belt. He was kind enough to loan both to me. The Dedham sign is at the traffic delta at Pine Street in Dedham's Riverdale section in front of St. Susanna's Catholic Church. Interestingly, the town allowed a more permanent sign, not shown, to be erected at that delta that read: "SOS Save our St. Susanna's" in protest of the Archdiocese of Boston's planned closure of the parish. The church survived and the sign was removed.

The Slow Down Dedham signs were only up for a day, and I haven't seen a single one since. I wonder if it was because they were all pretty much placed within the public right-of-way. I hope that wasn't the case, because the town allows similar signs posted by the American Red Cross encouraging people to give blood. There's even a publicly owned electronic message board (the kind that gets pulled around on a trailer with yellow diodes). I don't know which public entity owns the board, but it had a blue license plate on it, and it is a beacon for the Red Cross.

I don't begrudge the Red Cross or the town for helping the Red Cross to get the word out, but what's good for the goose... The signs were made of the similar weather-resistant placards as Tobin's red signs. These, however, had a white field with red letters. I thought they were a nice safety message along roads that people usually speed on, and where there are schools, churches and nursing homes, as well as families walking along sidewalks.

If anyone knows why the signs disappeared, please leave word in comments or e-mail me at the "honk at me" link above right.


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