Where are they going? Where did they come from?
Around downtown St. Paul, there are hundreds of bright orange traffic cones — and a ton of those blinking light barricades — sitting around, haphazardly, with nothing to say. They’re not protecting our chassis from gaping sinkholes. They don’t warn us about sidewalks under construction. These things are set up like dominoes, in undulating lines of ill conception, by city council members who like to use their amassing vacation days by putting on a yellow vest and fucking with people as they place these things randomly about the city.
Tonight, I saw one of those huge reflector signs with an arrow pointing to the right, telling drivers they should go the wrong way down a one-way street. Not a foot from the sign was this pile of bricks, 4 feet high, with a sad barricade blinking meekly in the fading twilight.
What does it all mean?
A few months ago, there was a line of cones stretching for about a mile along Shepard Road, for no apparent reason. These cones, which were roughly 3 feet apart, started just off the median near the curb in the left lane and as I drove along, the cones veered closer and closer to the right lane, like they were teasing us: “Ha! You can’t use this lane. Why? We don’t know exactly.” The road looked fine, by the way.
Is it all just one big social experiment? Sure, there are sometimes instances where a series of cones is placed around a rectangular hunk of sheet metal jutting out of the street, but for the most part, St. Paul’s cone placement is just ridiculous. Perhaps the city needs to meet their budget before the end of the fiscal year, so the government won’t stiff them come Q1, so they decided, “Hey, let’s get some more cones. That’s not a suspicious purchase at all. Who knows? We might need them in the summer… We all know there are only two seasons in Minnesota: Construction and Slush.”
It’s quite comical. It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but at least it’s funny.