It’s cone season again. And although it sounds really delicious, I’m not talking ice cream cones. I mean the pointy orange kind you often see scattered around construction zones or marking potholes for the purpose of redirecting traffic. Orange traffic cones signify “danger” or “caution” and alert those in cars or on foot to navigate around or away from an area designated as being hazardous
Not on our street. On our street it means, “I’m letting my children use the public road leading to your house as an exclusive playground for my kids so don’t you dare go any farther.”
That’s right. We live on a culdesac and there are a few neighbors on our street that feel it’s acceptable to block off the road with a line of orange cones they found in our local Walmart's toy aisle. Why? So their children can play “safely” in traffic. For the past few years, whenever the sun is out, the kids are playing in the middle of the road – and when we see this we can always depend on the watchful army of cones to be out there supervising.
Exhibit A: View of cone army from the safety of my garage.
I find this weird. And so do visitors who have been halted just at the edge of the circle leading our house by this strip of neon orange pylons. Some people park beyond the cones. Some have courteously made the effort to get out of their car, move a few cones, drive their car through, then get back out of their vehicle to kindly replace them. Some wait for the cone-tender (aka the overly-cautious parent) to temporarily move the cones so our friends or family can proceed to our home. My husband’s elderly uncle didn’t know whatto do so he just turned around and left (and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran over a cone or two in the process).
I need to mention that before we moved to this area a few years ago, we lived in a house that was also situated on a culdesac. And yup. Our kids, along with a dozen or so other children, played in the street – a street devoid of cones or other neon cautionary warnings. Basically (as a parent should) we just supervised our kids when they were outside playing -- and they knew to hightail it to the curb if they saw a car coming lest they be flattened. And guess what? To my knowledge, not one child was squashed.
Perhaps the cone families don’t know that barricading or obstructing a public road is against the law around here. And when I casually mentioned our neighbors' coning practices to a cop-friend ours his response was, “Call the department next time they do this. I don’t know why some parents think it’s okay to create a personal playground for their kids. It’s illegal.”
So, maybe once our vigilant neighbors are fined 1 trillion dollars for this transgression or get roughed up by the fuzz, cuffed, and thrown in the back of a squad car they’ll learn. I haven’t called the cops, mostly because I know I’ll get harrassed for blowing the whistle. So in the mean time, I will do just as my husband taught me: drive right over the cones and up our driveway.
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