One of my pettest of pet peeves . . . and a waste of our taxpayer dollars

I had the pleasure of driving SPC Pico back to State College after Easter dinner, and it allowed me to get some pictures of something that has really urinated me off for a while now. All of these pictures were taken on Interstate 80, Eastbound, on my way back home.


This is a standard mile marker along I-80. It’s perfectly functional, in that it does what is required: it tells drivers where they are on the road, and provides a marker for emergency responders in case of an accident. These things are very useful, and have been in use, in some form or other, for decades on American highways.


In some areas of I-80, the tenths of miles are marked with these relatively simple, inexpensive-appearing markers. They are reflective stickers on PVC posts. Along the section of I-80 which I traveled, there are many of these posts with simple reflective squares, to help drivers at night, with the tenth-mile markers among them. These markers are perfectly adequate for the purpose they serve, providing locations for emergency responders; motorists have little need, other than in emergencies, to know the mileage down to the tenth.

Now, this is where I start to get angry.


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is making improvements along I-80. Much of the work is necessary: I-80 through the Keystone State is a very old road, and the riding surface has needed work for a while now. But the Commonwealth has also replaced the full mile marker signs with ones like the picture above. Interstate 80 is a limited access highway, and a motorist pretty much has to know on what road he is traveling once he gets on I-80. Further, I-80 markers, complete with direction indicators, are posted a little bit after every entrance ramp.

Why, then, does the Commonwealth need to spend the additional money to put the I-80 logo on the mile marker? It’s just a waste of money!


And where the cheap-looking tenth of a mile posts performed their function quite adequately, the Commonwealth is now replacing them with markers like this one. I-80 runs for something like 309 miles in the Keystone State; if the Commonwealth is going to replace all of the markers, that’s going to be something over 6,000 of them, at 10 per mile, in each direction.

It isn’t just on I-80. On the short stretch of Interstate 81 I traveled (near Hazleton), where road work is also being done, these new signs are also making their appearance.

The older, obviously less expensive markers did the job required perfectly adequately. Why, then, does the Commonwealth need to replace them with larger, much more expensive signs?

It’s pretty obvious: someone thought that this was a Good Idea, and pushed it through. I will even concede that the new signs are better than the old ones. But the government taxes money away from hard working people, and the government ought to be frugal with the taxpayers’ dollars. Perhaps the new signs are better, but going with the better signs is clearly not necessary. How many other good things does our state government do that seem like improvements, but are not actually necessary?

“Watch the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves” is an old, old saying. Maybe in the big picture, these mile markers are a small expense. But I have to wonder just how many other small expenses the Commonwealth has which seem good to someone, somewhere, but which don’t actually have to be made.

39 Comments

  1. I drove on that same road just a couple of weeks ago and the thing that struck me was all of the litter on the sides of the road. That highway goes through some beautiful parts of PA, its too bad some idiots spoil it with their trash.

  2. C’mon Dana, you should know by now, PennDOT is a four letter word.

    Or how else do you relive the boredom and tedium of Interstate driving if you didn’t have those markers.

    At least PA finally switched its EXIT number to the mile marker rather than the old way. We have the first exit on I-83 in PA. Since 1955 it was EXIT 1. Ten years ago it finally becme EXIT 4 since it’s 4 miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

  3. Of all the things to be upset about, Dana. gheesh!

    Why not be upset about lies being spewed on the TV. Don’t you think it’s important that we are presented with truth on the air waves? Since you mentioned Al “Gort”, I thought this information would be appropriate. Tell me that you are honorable enough that misinformation or disinformation bothers you deeply. Also, since you did a spot on this previously, NOW, with this new information, you should consider it as worthy of topic…?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#36155851

  4. Hey, it destroyed ACORN, so good was done! :)

    But if you note the “official” sheet from Attorney General Brown, you’ll note that he found a “litany of problems” with ACORN, though no outright criminality. You should also note that Mr Brown, formerly the governor of California known as “Governor Moonbeam” for his flaky leftiness, is, once again, running for governor of California. He’s as unbiased a source as Rachel Maddow herself.

  5. It was a deception that destroyed an organization. Isn’t the fact that honesty is what we should be operating under important? They helped poor people. Again, Republicans, against poor people. Dirty tricks to make it happen.

  6. It was not a deception that destroyed the organization, Blubonnet. It was their ready acceptance to break the laws of this country, trample on the Constitution and swindle the taxpayers to make money for themselves.

    You sound like the John, who after hess asked if he wants a date and says yes, screams “entrapment”.

    I also do not believe they “help poor people”. They USE poor people to further their leftist agenda. That’s not helping anyone, it’s exploiting them.

  7. Hey, it destroyed ACORN, so good was done! :)

    Indeed. An organisation that helps poor people vote, that tries to get them affordable housing, that works for community safety and better public schools is something that any good Catholic should hate, right Dana?

    Proper conservative Christian conduct no longer involves feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned or burying the dead. It’s all about tax cuts, getting Republicans into power, and covering up child-molesting in the Church.

    Conservative values at their best.

  8. Ihave folled the story since it broke on bothe the internet and TV. I’ve read and listened to all the arguments all over the board, Blubonnet. Just because one has a different opinion does not mean one is illinformed, misinformed or an idiot.

    Do you really believe that ACORN who enticed the couple involved to: 1. Evade taxes, 2. Operate an illegal business, 3. Exploit under age children, 4. Set up a fraudulent company and many more felonies and misdameanors is the victim?

    I don’t know all the answers, but I do try and ask the right questions, sigh.

  9. Do you really believe that ACORN who enticed the couple involved to: 1. Evade taxes, 2. Operate an illegal business, 3. Exploit under age children, 4. Set up a fraudulent company and many more felonies and misdameanors is the victim?

    “Enticed”? Don’t be an idiot. James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles came to ACORN offices on their own and demanded advice on how to prostitute children. They weren’t enticed into anything; they targeted ACORN and manipulated ACORN employees into making statements they could use to embarass the organization. In many cases they used trick editing and dubbing to make employees appear to be answering different questions than what they were actually asked.

    “Enticed” is literally the stupidest possible word I can imagine being used to describe the situation.

  10. It was a well manipulated story, that was with its own agenda. Manipulation of. They just got all the players to play along, because they have more money than God, and the media is their play toy, fools. It’s been exposed by so many on the real news sources internet sources, that the TV is actually putting their over-sized eye onto it, blurring it, into their most preferred roles. It’s amazing how successful these networks have come to stupefy so many.

    I would hope before any Righties would dare take on this conversation, they looked at the sources offered by both parties, of this or, of any discussion….?

    But for those that are too IGNORINGly IGNORANT, on purpose, that is, I’ll just let you know, and you cna deny later, that it has been shown, loud and clear, that fraud in editing and Brad Friedman’s scrutinizing candor, exposes the little charade that served the many GOPugnant ones among you. Who has honor?

    The GOP’s make-up line is showing. It’s powdery white wigs, are falling off heads. and making their pantaloons all powdery white.

    When are you all going to face that the values you hold…(do you?) these acts of deception are not your standard, and that you resent them for such tactics, which would leave the GOP with a stain. ? Why can’t you all just say, you do not want deception as part of the MO of the GOP….? Is anyone embarrassed?

  11. Chet, you are right, “enticed” was the wrong choice of words. It should have been “conspired with”. O’Keefe went into the office and “demanded” nothing. He simply asked if there was a way he could obtain a house under the “Stimulus Package”. Under questioning by the lovely, for the poor, helping people at Acorn folks he was asked: “what for”? He explained he wanted to buy a house with untaxed income, derived in cash, by prostitution, to store underage kids (about 13) from San Salvadore to use in a child protitution ring. They were happy to help.

    Please don’t be such an asshole that you would defend these actions either by our team or yours.

    As far as Blubonnets comment, just another conspiracy? Gettin’old.

  12. Chet, you are right, “enticed” was the wrong choice of words. It should have been “conspired with”. O’Keefe went into the office and “demanded” nothing. He simply asked if there was a way he could obtain a house under the “Stimulus Package”. Under questioning by the lovely, for the poor, helping people at Acorn folks he was asked: “what for”? He explained he wanted to buy a house with untaxed income, derived in cash, by prostitution, to store underage kids (about 13) from San Salvadore to use in a child protitution ring. They were happy to help.

    And you know this… how? Remember, Keefe has already been demonstarted to distort the truth about the interview.

  13. So what you are saying is ” Don’t believe the guy behind the curtain”? I should not believe what I’ve seen heard and what I looked deeper into? I should believe Pho. You guys are simpletons.

  14. BTW Pho, does everyone who disagrees with you “distort the truth’? Or are you just a mouthpiece for the left? As blubonnet is your ally, how much credibility do you have left? My allies are the better men. You are weak and self indulged.

  15. I should not believe what I’ve seen heard and what I looked deeper into?

    You should be aware that you are ignorant and easily fooled.

    Midway through his piece, Hoyt concedes the Times erred when it reported that O’Keefe entered the ACORN offices dressed as a pimp “in the outlandish costume — fur coat, goggle-like sunglasses, walking stick and broad-brimmed hat…” Hoyt excuses the error saying, “It is easy to see why The Times and other news organizations got a different impression. At one point, as the videos were being released, O’Keefe wore the get-up on Fox News, and a host said he was “dressed exactly in the same outfit he wore to these Acorn offices.” He did not. O’Keefe spliced into the videos scenes of him in the pimp outfit, which Giles later admitted. Hoyt acknowledges that the Times was wrong to write that O’Keefe was dressed as a pimp. But, he says, “just because O’Keefe lied about his wardrobe doesn’t mean that his videos don’t reveal problems with the behavior of ACORN staffers argue.”
    [...]
    Further, while ACORN has had oversight and management difficulties, they have been blown way out of proportion. For example, the Times failed to report that in only 3 or 4 of the 10 offices visited by the fake pimp and prostitute did ACORN’s intake staff give patently outrageous advice and the videos covered only 10 of ACORN’s 103 offices. In none of the offices visited by the video-tapers did ACORN employees create client files or bills, file tax returns, sign or submit loan documents, or arrange bank loans.

  16. Yes, keep goin with that crap. You are sounding like Blubonnet; we all know what we saw and heard but! if it does not work in the commie world you will try and tell us different. Try and try, I saw the tapes, read the interview and watched the players (the most important). So because you buy into the bullshit I become the bad guy? Sorry, you loose, ACORN is a corrupt organization and if you defend it you are a corrupt person. (conspirsacies notwithstanding).

  17. BTW, I’m “ignorant and easily fooled” but you are the Marxist? Are you new or just plain stupid?

  18. Also, if O’Keefe was lying, why does ACORN need to change its name? You only need an identity change if YOU are the fraud, liar and creep. If O’Keefe was wrong wouldn’t it seem He should change HIS name? Idiot.

  19. BTW, I’m “ignorant and easily fooled” but you are the Marxist?

    Thank you for clearly demonstrating the first part. I’m not a Marxist.

  20. Also, if O’Keefe was lying, why does ACORN need to change its name? You only need an identity change if YOU are the fraud, liar and creep.

    Ah, so you’re saying every married woman who changes her name is a “fraud, liar and creep” then?

    If O’Keefe was wrong wouldn’t it seem He should change HIS name?

    No doubt he will the next time he attempts a hit on some other institution. You may recall that he’s been recently charged with felonies for attempting to bug a senator, even though those have now been reduced presumably in exchange for a guilty plea.

    ACORN has been investigated and cleared. If it has to change its name, its because of the successful smearing campaign based on lies waged against it by wingnuts. Sometimes the good guys lose – and an organisation dedicated to helping the poor in society are the good guys.

  21. And to the second part: Yes you are. You may not want to admit that (as most don’t) for some reason. But let me state, by your opinions, philosophy and political ideology, you sir, are a Marxist.

  22. Also, would you change your name “based on lies”? I know I wouldn’t. I’d fight to the death before I surrendered to lies. That’s why I won’t surrender to the likes of you.

  23. Hoagie, you are way behind on the latest developments on the story. Maybe it is by choice, honing your ignorance. You had an opportunity to evolve, see two different sources, explaining the manipulation that took place. You IGNO(ance)ED them.

    You seem to be a volatile combination of arrogance AND ignorance, Hoagie.

    Incidentally I only state facts, no theorizing. So, you are wrong to call me a conspiracy theorist. Let’s not start on that though. All facts stated can be verified, by science.

  24. Piator: “Proper conservative Christian conduct no longer involves feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned or burying the dead. It’s all about tax cuts, getting Republicans into power, and covering up child-molesting in the Church.”

    I note no response so far from Dana, whom I trust knows better than his rhetoric sometimes suggests. If he actually doesn’t know better, then I’ve been fooled.

    Blubonnet: “Hoagie, you are way behind on the latest developments on the story. Maybe it is by choice, honing your ignorance. You had an opportunity to evolve, see two different sources, explaining the manipulation that took place.”

    Hoagie, do you yet have it in you to admit that you, and your fellow GOPers, could have been greatly mislead and are wrong about ACORN? To me it is quite unfortunate for the segment served by ACORN that a blatant smear campaign generated by conservative political operatives should have been successful. But it has! Instead of GOPers bowing their heads in shame, look what we are getting here from the likes of Yorkshire, Dana, and Hoagie. One would have hoped for better from these three!

  25. How on Earth did a post about the gov’t wasting money on highway signs devolve into an argument over ACORN?? Looks like Blu managed to hijack yet another thread …

  26. True, Eric, but there is only so much that can be said about mile markers on a PA highway!

  27. And to the second part: Yes you are. You may not want to admit that (as most don’t) for some reason. But let me state, by your opinions, philosophy and political ideology, you sir, are a Marxist.

    Let me state, based on your ignorance, your inability to grasp nuance, and your blindness to anything which doesn’t fit into your own very narrow and distorted view of the world, that you are wrong. Again. I am not a Marxist.

    You, however, remain a fool.

  28. Ignorant people who have nothing worthwhile to say, back off to the petty name calling tactic, thus demonstrating their own weakness. Such is the case here.

  29. Ignorant people who have nothing worthwhile to say, back off to the petty name calling tactic, thus demonstrating their own weakness. Such is the case here.

    And Perry is one of the primary participants.

  30. Hube:

    In truth, Hube, you are THE primary participant, as you suffer from the exact same disorder as …, well, you know whom!

  31. In truth, Hube, you are THE primary participant

    Well, I’m honored. But, again, at least I recognize I give as well as take around here. I don’t pretend to be some holier-than-thou paragon of virtue who constantly bitches about everyone else like, … well, you know who!

  32. Who would that be, Hube? The guy that delves into Biblical every chance he can? Or me, the “holier than thou” person that is upset because of what has occurred, the slaughtering and maiming of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings, compliments of the US government with bogus “intelligence” to make preconceived wars happen, defense industry mafia, of the US government, bombing in our name? Just curious. Who has a right to be angry? What is worth raising our eyebrow high? Maybe I should be angry instead because people that don’t have enough money to get health care will get health care? WHAT is worth bitching about, Hube?

  33. I’m sure Dana’s wife is happy with the fact that their house is made up of 4 walls, exposed brick, and tile floor, because anything else is just a waste of money.

    Dana, learn to have some pride in your public infrastructure. We’re a first world country. Act like it.

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