Latest in Case of Mysterious El Vado Planter(s): The Smashing

We at Better Burque have long followed the saga of the ceramic planters of various size, weight, and number which have been placed in the middle/sides of the gap between parking at El Vado and what is supposed to be bike/walk-only access to/from New York Ave., just south of Central Ave. What has been a story of many twists, turns, and planters has most definitely reached some form of literary crisis point.

For what once, not too long ago, looked like this:

Planter in pre-smashed condition looking south down New York Ave.

Now looks like this:

The crime scene this late morning looking north up to Central Avenue

Some person, or persons, perhaps with the physical aid and mental handicap of alcohol, has smashed the large planter all to hell, leaving it small enough to drive through the remaining gap.

See the blue lines leading away from the spot of the crime? Those are the extremely non-MUTCD compliant marking of a “cycle track” stenciled (perhaps with paint found in one of those kids’ paint sets) to provide cycling access south and on eastward at Central and New York because Central loses it bike lane at this juncture. Riders are thus encouraged to ride a route somewhat parallel to the “bulge” in Central at/near Rio Grande Blvd. Maybe a birds’ eye view will help:

new york and central.png
The gap with the now beat all to hell planter is the red box outlined above

Since the child’s paint cycle track was first stenciled as part of the El Vado redevelopment in 2017/2018, there’s been a long, infrastructurally humorous series of failed attempts to prevent drivers from making their way through the gap. For instance:

new york central planters
Funny other failed attempt story. The traffic cone above covered a hole used to place a “bollard,” one of those tall yellow metal things designed to keep drivers from passing through. That bollard was literally sheared at ground level not long after installation. Your humble blogger got to pick up said bollard, haul it to the El Vado Hotel Reception Desk, and have a wistfully humorous discussion with hotel staff about the many failed attempts.

And here’s what eventually ended what we might call the Two Planters & Traffic Cone Era:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is el-vado-planters.jpg
One planter mysteriously disappeared along with the traffic cone, and the other planter was moved aside for obvious reasons. The aforementioned hole can just be made out in the shadow created by a telephone pole.

The most recent subterfuge once again forces El Vado, the City, and local residents on New York Avenue to come up with a solution. While this saga is somewhat fun in that way which should make us feel guilty for laughing, two more somber observations must be made:

  1. These El Vado, City, and nearby residents are going through a very sizable expenditure of time, energy, and planter expenses, all because:
  2. Drivers are assholes.

And the not-so-funny thing about that is we’re kinda supposed to think it’s funny that drivers are assholes. Ha. Ha. Ha. Drivers do asshole things confirming the fact that they can be assholes. What a fucking laugh riot. The only thing salvaging any scintilla of humor here is that this asshole(s) only smashed a planter to hell, instead of a human, say, trying to ride a bike through that gap along the child’s paint set painted “cycle track.”

Ultimately, we are gonna have to truly, permanently fix this situation and install a bona fide diverter. Something along the lines of this diverter at 14th and Lomas as part of that street’s bike boulevard status:

Only in the case of the El Vado/New York Avenue gap, the curbing is gonna have to be really, really high. Asshole driver-proof tall.

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