El Vado’s Mysteriously Moving Planters

Right at one year ago, we stopped during one of our weekly bike rides down Central Ave. and through the road/parking lot strangely connecting New York Ave. at the El Vado hotel/etc. redevelopment to take this photo:

new york central planters

The “eyes” and “nose” you see above were placed there, by somebody and/or some entity, to stop drivers from going through what is supposedly intended to be bike/ped-only access (see the blue lines) from El Vado back onto New York Avenue as it continues southeast along the north side of the Country Club area.

For those unfamiliar, the area looks like this if you’re in a balloon about 150 feet up (approximately):

new york and central.png
The red box outlines the spot of much driver, developer, City actions and machinations ever since El Vado opened.

The planters and cone seen above were about the fifth iteration of efforts to stop these drivers, including a bollard put where the cone stands above, soon followed by the bollard beat all to Hell by drivers to the point it snapped and I got to find out how heavy a bollard is as I lugged it to the El Vado Hotel registration desk.

The ceramic planters, concrete really, are, on the other hand, far too heavy to lug, or so I thought…until today.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is el-vado-planters.jpg
Perhaps the other planter is now being used to help some lovely flowers grow and was not actually obliterated by a Chevy Tahoe or Ford F-350.

My riding buddy and I looked this morning for tell-tale signs indicating a vehicle or back-hoe was used to move this one planter, but smudges and other marks were inconclusive. Thus, the movement of these Easter Island-weighted objects (well, not exactly) remains a mystery.

Our hypothesis, however, is that alcohol was very likely involved, along with several guys and a beat to Hell pickup truck.

We didn’t stick around this morning to see if any drivers would flex their newly restored freedom to take New York Ave south from the El Vado, and thus did not get to see any neighbors on New York Avenue come out in their Sunday morning bathrobe and slippers to complain about these drivers flexing their newly restored freedom.

We’ll keep riding out there every week to see how long the now-orphaned ceramic planter sticks around. I’d put the over/under at about two weeks.

Meanwhile, will the City or other entity give stopping drivers another go at this strangely long-running infrastructure battleground? Having tried bollards, heavy planters, and cones, maybe that laser from the James Bond movie or strategically placed Rio Grande River jetty jacks could be employed for this purpose.

I say whatever it takes. I also volunteer to operate the laser.

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