Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gum Trees at the Market

The Low Country is covered in Gum Trees but it's not Liquidambar styraciflua, Carolina Sweetgum that is causing an uproar.

The Charleston Post and Courier is reporting that city officials are looking to stick it to gum-chewing visitors who plaster their gnawed wads on a trio of utility poles at an entrance to the famed City Market.

Hernan Pena, the city's traffic and transportation director, said the practice is vile, destructive and unwelcome. He has asked Charleston police to keep a close eye on the poles and to ticket gum-stickers. Another possibility is installing video surveillance cameras to catch the bubble gum-smacking perpetrators on tape, he said.


Locals like Sara (above) enjoy the ever present “gum poles” as just another quriky part of Charleston. But transportation director Pena doesn’t see the humor. “We can’t give in to this,” Pena said. “Vandalism is what it is.”

Barney Fife was also reported as saying "We need to nip it! Nip it in the bud Andy or this will get out of and hand. I say NIP IT and NIP IT NOW!

Visitors to this blog might recall that city traffic director Hernan Pena is also behind the December 2007 idea of having pedestrians wave an orange flag while crossing Calhoun Street, citing that it has worked in other states.

The flags turned out to be more of distraction to drivers and not very popular with pedestrians.

Watch Charleston pedestrians run across Calhoun Street defying death and waving flags here.

Mr. Pena is shocked at how smart Charleston Pedestrians are being able to jay walk and chew gum at the same time.

Ever on the cutting edge of transportation engineering Mr. Pena is determined to stop the gum smackers and jaywalkers and now plans to introduce a new city ordinance requiring pedestrians to hulla hoop their way across Charleston's busy streets in a new effort to make pedestrians more visible to Charleston's speeding drivers.


"If it works in Vermont it will work in Charleston"

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