Friday, August 9, 2013

Mystery Road Markings Sighted South Burlington

The event appeared to have occurred sometime between the end of July and the first week of August. At first, only white circles, an X, and a few lines and arrows appeared on some Vermont roadways.

                                           Highlighted for imminent repair
Either some disgruntled motorist or more likely the Public Works Department personnel outlined potholes and bumps on the roads, presumably to highlight them for imminent repair.
What followed however could be the work of a copycat artist, a pool player with extra chalk to spare, or a child following the pothole highlight method to help adults in the community find what they dropped. One other possibility is the markings are an offshoot of ‘Warchalking’- chalk symbols (indicating a wireless network mode) to signal where you can get a wireless internet connection.

A quick survey reveals the yellow, white, and green markings - circled  items commonly found on city streets, sidewalks and even storefronts, though they are not natural to those areas.   The markings appear to be of a chalky substance, easily removed or washed away by rainfall. However, the items the markings highlighted are not compostable and require diligent clean up to eradicate them.
                                                                                                   Skeleton of Consumption

The idea of ‘Trashchalking’ is to give an added visual cue indicating a litter alert and the need for remedial clean up action. Using chalk symbols breaks the complacency of accepting trash as part of the natural landscape.

The Chalk Circles like Crop Circles beg the eye to notice whereupon the conscious of the community (citizens and businesses) is activated followed by removal of littered trash.
                                                                                         Got Litter - Pickers? 
A chalked number might indicate the number of days a piece of litter has resided on the ground. A circled (A+) sign might indicate a litter free street or parking lot. Arrows pointing to a nearby trash container indicate pointed irony.

Litter is the skeleton of our consumption.  We needn’t await the litter police to outline it. We at the very least need to bury it - not leave it lying about in disrespect to our city and ourselves. With effort and persistence, potholes and litter can be outdated, the only chalking remaining-a good ole Hopscotch game.