The street signs in Portland, Oregon are not very well designed. Most signs at intersections have the street name on a very small sign with printing on only one side. My aunt Shelley once managed to broadside a large Tri-met bus, distracted by the poor signage, desperately trying to figure out what street she was on.

Further confusing are the various large signs in Portland that read like this:


The major problem with such signs is that they are located about one to three blocks behind the actual intersection. Notice that little "next signal" bit? A lot of people, especially those new to the area, don't. They thusly turn prematurely, getting them hopelessly lost.

A cobblestone city street
nineteen blocks remaining
peering down the early winter haze
windowlights vanished like embers

I wondered why each person coming by
was like a thought I was forgetting,
two ships passing in the fog
not sure what ghost they had seen
as I looked at the Hudson, the night
falling on a passing ferry
and I started home

Tell me the story again
of the man who spent all his days
wanting for what he already had

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