Tonawanda News

Columns

September 20, 2013

ADAMCZYK: Signs, signs -- everywhere the signs

Tonawanda News — That a driver in this state can read is not a requirement, but it’s definitely implied. A driver needs literacy to at least fill out the forms or study the handbook (maybe it’s a website now, I don’t know) before being licensed. 

And that’s a good thing, as Martha would say, because there’s a lot to read, driving or walking around Kenmore and Tonawanda.

Professional and amateur signage seems to be proliferating, in large part, I suspect, because summer events soon to pass often require some temporary advertising. Hence, the handmade sign at the end of the street. Garage sale, yard sale, moving sale. These things tend not to occur in winter.

Compare the Village of Kenmore’s traffic advisories to those of say, downtown Williamsville. There seems to be something to read on every publically owned vertical surface in Kenmore, as though the village is a test bed for traffic law (or maybe a test bed for sign construction). That other community seems to offer nothing but advice on where to park, and even that is a crapshoot (ask me about my parking tickets).

Drive down Ken-Ton’s thoroughfares — Elmwood Avenue, Delaware Avenue, Sheridan Drive — and it’s astounding, the amount of available reading material (and we have not seriously begun political campaign season).

Mighty Taco offers, on its electric scoreboard-style sign, puns and rhymes about pigs (they’ve got a pork-based sandwich now, apparently). The lamp posts promote the concerts of local bands and the finding of local lost cats. A piece of cardboard, wired to the Delaware Avenue pavement, announces “Tailor,” and yes, an excellent tailor works right down the street, except that the sign is there daily, day/night, whether the tailor is on/off duty.

We expect an advertising sign over the front end of a retail establishment or service business. If the sign reads “Sears Hardware,” we have a pretty fair idea of what’s inside, behind the storefront. A chiropractor in a strip mall across the street has a van painted to explain the services at the shop therein (presumably in the shop; for all I know you walk into the van to get cracked and cured). 

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