The Roanoker - July/August 2017 - 10
FROM THE EDITOR
What if the Whole City Were as
Precise as our Alley Must Be?
It's a wonderful city we live in. Could it be even better if all of it were as
exactingly refined as a daylily bed out there by the garbage cans?
SO ONE DAY OUT IN THE ALLEY,
where Gail has worked for years to create
and maintain a tidy, healthy bed of daylilies, there's a paper sign on a wooden stick,
sunk down into them.
It talks about weeds blocking the alley
and the possibility of a citation and other
official city stuff, right there under official city letterhead.
And we're like, whaaaaat?!
The offending plants are maybe 18 inches tall, and their intrusion into the alley, so far as we can discern, is that the outermost
row might, by virtue of its collective bend, be suspended perhaps an
inch, in spots, over the border between the soil and the edge of the
We call the guy whose name is on the notice to express our incredulousness, and he's like hey, I'll be right out to talk about it.
Which he is. He explains to us about the big trucks needing to
get through the alley to get to the garbage cans and the recycling
cans, and about how anything that extends over the pavement is an
C'mon, a few pieces of daylily foliage?
Yes, we must be consistent with the notices. (Farther down the
alley, some giant evergreens reach a quarter of the way across the alley,
which we had assumed to be the focus of the note at the front of the
house a week or so before the alley notice.)
In the end, he says his supervisor said he could remove our notice.
After a few days and at my suggestion, Gail took pair of scissors
out there and clipped the offending leaf pieces anyway.
All of which got me thinking about our fine tidy city and if its
overall fineness and tidiness were extended to the level of what was
mandated out in the alley.
Just a few . . .
* The new tennis courts over there under the Carilion gaze are all
colorful, fresh, beautiful and smooth. Time to make sure all the other
courts around the city get their weeds out and cracked spots repaired.
* All the traffic lights all over the city need to be completely sensitive to traffic patterns and volume, so you're not sitting, for instance,
on Salem Avenue there between the newspaper building and the
transportation museum, while the light goes long-green for nobody
whatsoever to come through in either direction north-south while
you're on hold to go east-west. Or the bottom of Towers Shopping
Center on 23rd, where Brandon can go deserted, but you'll still sit at
10 | JULY/AUGUST 2017
Precision in the alley
If the daylilies can't extend over the pavement line, should tennis
courts have weeds and fissures?
the bottom of 23rd until the light counts to a thousand.
* The low-water bridges on Wiley Drive need to be freed of debris
and re-opened to traffic 20 minutes after the water is off of the bridge
nearest Franklin Road.
* People are going to have to go back to using turn signals like they
have ceased to do to the extent that neither pedestrians nor cyclists-
let alone drivers-can have any trust in what direction a vehicle at a
stop sign will go after its pause (or not).
* All the medians and other city-owned properties need to be
as beautiful as the former rose-garden area behind Mountain View.