Recently I took an espresso break with a highly credible person who is as they say, “in the know.”
While knocking back my cappuccino, my confidential informant informed me that a number of citizens have been directing highly emotional and loosely supported complaints towards City of Lakewood staff and Lakewood City Council. The critical comments suggest the complaint targets are abundantly incompetent and are recklessly using our tax dollars. Malfeasants in office is a favorite term they like to bandy about.
Being one of The Suburban Times top caliber award-winning Investigative Reporters, it was only natural when Publisher Ben Sclair hand-picked me to sneak around town wearing a mullet wig and fake beard on an all expense paid investigative junket to get to the bottom this breaking story. While my publisher sounds like a big spender, he knew I was only about one mile from the scene of the story which made the concept, all expenses paid, equal no expense paid.
I was chosen because to many, at least by may pals Tommy in Louisville and Jimmy on the West Slope, my reporting skills are similar to those of The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the 1972 Watergate scandal fame. I have to admit, my source reminded me of the infamous informant connected with the Watergate scandal known as “Deep Throat.” Not wishing to copy Woodward’s and Bernstein’s Deep Throat name, my soon be famously informant is known as Deep Pocket. I have sworn to not disclose the true identity of Deep Pocket until 25 years following death. I think death refers to my death, which puts me at age 100 when I identify Deep Pocket. When I am 100, who will care?
The Suburban Times is dedicated to bringing our loyal readers the facts and nothing but the facts.
The citizen complaints have sounded something like this; “Hey, what is da-matter witch you politicians and city bureaucrats? After you waste our tax dollars building sidewalks around Gravelly Lake wide enough to be used as a Lear Jet landing strip, you den post signs telling us not walk on the berry sidewalks you just bilt. Does dat make cents? Have ett too much of dat new legal Washington weed brownies? Huh? Huh? Why do we hab sidewalks in Lakewood we are knot supposed to stomp on?
Ben Sclair, who is known for being a highly intelligent operator and is often referred to “as the brains behind the outfit,” instructed me to not only shed light on the above-referenced citizen complaint but to dig deep enough to discover if there was another side to this complaint story.
Until recently my investigation has been a closely guarded secret like the Robert Mueller Trump – Russian election investigation.
Now that my investigation is complete with a double, triple, and fourple, (Joe Boylism), check on all the facts including those facts I made up to make the story more interesting, we can now move into our transparency phase.
My investigative findings determined that the city staff and city council do not deserve any of the criticism leveled at them in what is an unprecedented level of complaints. I have come to this conclusion based on several significant investigative findings as follows:
Significant Finding #1: The city did not spend all our tax dollars on the street and sidewalk improvement project as the accusers claim. Lakewood spent a few dollars, but when compared to the total cost expended for the project, we might call what the city spent chump change. Most of the dollars flowed into the city for the project based on city staff’s highly honed ability to garner grant dollars. These free dollars flow from government bureaucracies like the Washington State Government and our Federal Government. Lakewood knows big government means big money.
Significant Finding #2: By using the childproof door locking system and by keeping my car moving at 35 mph, I was able to hold my pal Jimmy hostage in the interest of scientific discovery. Jimmy saw what happened to me when I fell off a motorcycle at 70 mph, so he was abundantly hesitant about jumping out of a moving car as we motored down Gravelly Lake Drive SW. My human experiment gave me the opportunity to make some scientific observations as we passed the No Pedestrian / No Walking signs depicted in the photos above.
During Jimmy’s forced participation in my street analysis experiment he produced the following spontaneous natural utterances as he searched for the true meaning of the No Pedestrian / No Walking street signs:
- Hey Joe, maybe those No Pedestrian / No Walking signs mean it is illegal to walk on the sidewalk?
- Hey Joe, maybe those No Pedestrian / No Walking signs mean people are discouraged from walking in the private yards in front of the sidewalks?
- Hey Joe, I think I finally got it. Those No Pedestrian / No Walking signs mean it is illegal for people using the sidewalks to cross Gravelly Lake Drive in the sign zone areas. Based on the three-Es of traffic, Engineering, Education, and Enforcement, the signs bring the first two Es into play. The signs are all located in what an old car-ped crash investigator like myself would refer to as KILL ZONES. KILL ZONES are those areas of Gravelly Lake Drive SW which intersect with high traffic cross streets and private roads.
While Jimmy finally got the actual message of the signs, he had to do a lot of thinking before being able to understand the signs’ meaning. The signs are confusing. Well engineered traffic signs should produce an instant and accurate recognition of the sign’s message without a lot of thought. A useful sign allows the viewer to see the sign and immediately understand the instruction being given.
Significant Finding #3: The No Pedestrian / No Walking signs do not actually face any citizen ambling down in either direction on the sidewalk. The signs face across the road with a second set of signs facing the first set from across the street. There is a total of four signs for each KILL ZONE. That means the signs do not message that we cannot walk on the sidewalk. The signs’ message we shall not cross the road in that location.
Significant Finding #4: The Golden Rule.
Most of us have heard of The Golden Rule, but many of us are unaware there are two meanings for The Golden Rule.
He who has the gold makes the rules.
What this means is when big government gave Lakewood the money, they dictated a rule that Lakewood must post the No Pedestrian / No walking crossing signs. The cost benefit ratio of posting confusing signs in exchange for big bucks is well worth it.
As you can see, if big government has the gold, big government makes the rules.
Take another look at Investigation Exhibit 1 below. I hope this clears up the big misunderstanding.
This The Suburban Times investigative report agrees with the critics that the NO PEDESTRIAN / NO WALKING signs are confusing, but based on the true facts, we ask the critics to be impressed, thankful, and polite as they communicate with Lakewood City staff and our Lakewood City Council.