The Albuquerque Journal last week reported that city officials admitted that a section of Third Street in the city’s downtown area had been transmogrified with errant lane stripes. The city said a routine paint job to delineate lanes on the road had been botched and ended up creating angle parking spaces on the road.
The city’s Municipal Development Director Pat Montoya noticed the errant stripes when driving in the area.
“You’re driving southbound and, all of a sudden, there’s no place to go,” he said.
The city immediately blamed the striping contractor and said proper striping would be painted late last week.
But oops, it turns out there wasn’t an error after all. A few days after the initial report of the error, the city retracted its original story and said that angle parking spaces were planned all along. Apparently, not everyone got the memo.
It reminded me of a story when I was growing up in my small town of Ruidoso. A short section of Sudderth Drive (the city’s main drag) had been repaved, but the contract apparently did not include a striping job.
City officials took pity on a guy who everyone knew as the town drunk and offered him a simple job of paining a white stripe down the center of the short section of paving. Thrilled at having been thrown a bone to make a few bucks to keep his liquor cabinet full, the guy hatched a plan to attach a spray can of white paint to the front of his old Jeep and trigger it remotely as he drove down the center of the road.
The probability of him being intoxicatged when he did the paint job, along with a very loose front suspension his Jeep resulted in a white line that looked like the route a skier might take through a giant slalom course on the slopes. The result looked something like the picture below. (Actually, as I recall, it was worse.)