Only in the People’s Republic of Cambridge

Only in the People’s Republic of Cambridge

In the City of Cambridge, Mass. (which some people call the East Coast Berkeley), they had a problem with aggressive driving through a particular intersection. In typical liberal fashion, they decided to deal with this problem by paying $10,000 in taxpayer money to an artist to paint a “rotary mural” on the road. This was supposed to calm drivers down.

  The city’s Arts Council recently paid a local artist $10,000 to paint the rotary on the intersection of Walden and Reservoir streets and Vassal Lane.

  The 20-foot art circle is supposed to help calm traffic by forcing drivers to slow down to drive around or across the rotary at a slower speed.
  Residents have criticized the West Coast-inspired idea and many motorists are ignoring the painted mural and speeding by the makeshift rotary.
  The art circle was loosely based on the Portland, Ore., project “City Repair,” according to Susanne Rasmussen, director of environmental and transportation planning for Cambridge.

That’s right, the Arts Council fixing traffic problems. As one commenter told the reporter, they would have been better off giving the 10 grand to the local schools for art supplies.

Methinks the Arts Council is overfunded if they have money to throw away on stuff like this.

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  • There’s a street called Vassal Lane in the PRC? Vassal??? What an outmoded, Eurocentric, classist concept! The city should immediately change it to Proletariat Lane!

    (raises clenched fist in the air)


  • I love Cambridge, but I have to agree with the East Coast Berkeley designation.

    Of course, the last time I was there, I was still mostly a liberal. I might not like it so much now.

  • Oh: it’s there,  in the tony Fresh Pond neighborhood where the Beautiful People live.  Can’t have commuters zipping a short cut through their neighborhood!

    One need not be Rush Limbaugh to recognize how typical this is for high-minded Massachusetts liberals: solving a social problem is not as important as making a gesture of concern!

    Anyway, if it’s any consolation, the $10,000 was probably much less than what a real traffic-slowing installation would have cost.  This is, after all, the state of the Big Dig, where the concrete sidewalks for state buildings crumble in 5 years.  Mustn’t do things in a too high-quality way: that would “kill the job”.

    And, despite the skeptics commenting above, I expect that traffic through that intersection will be slower when there’s snow on the ground, and it’ll be taken as part of this project’s success!

  • All they had to do was install some topes. The Mexicans must know how to make them real cheap.