It gets knocked down – but it gets up again.
A controversial Cambridge sign warning people to be on the watch for “aged” people was in storage this week after being being put up in the wrong place.
News columnist and retirement home resident Peter Carr recently expressed his less than complimentary views of the bright yellow sign showing a “bent-backed old person”.
“Nobody in the Waipā council asked if the residents wished to be associated with being decrepit, doddering and unable to see approaching traffic. In fact, over the succeeding 10 (or half score) years the pathways have been littered with amazingly sprightly people…” he wrote.
The sign, which had been in Victoria St, Cambridge, appeared in Le Quesnoy Place.
Enter letter writer Brian Plimmer who mused last week that there appeared to be no criteria “for erecting these signs which offend rather than protect”.
He was also quick to tell the News this week that the sign had disappeared.
Well, it has, and it hasn’t.
Waipā District Council Transportation Manager Bryan Hudson noted the sign had been removed from somewhere in town and dumped on the Victoria Street berm where it was installed “in error”.
On Monday the sign maintenance contractor was alerted to the error and was holding the sign until its proper home was found, he explained.
“The ‘Aged’ sign is part of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s family, a council spokesperson said.
We asked Waka Kotahi whether the signs showing a partially hunched person over the word “Aged” had had their day – particularly given the country has 600,000 people over 65 who might be tagged as “aged”.
“The symbol is intended to represent any adult pedestrian, and reflects the international symbol used for pedestrians,” a spokesperson said.
But the addition of the “Aged” sign isn’t compulsory.
“The Aged supplementary is optional for road controlling authorities…” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, under intense questioning, columnist Carr – a JP for 48 years – confirmed he had nothing to do with the movement of the sign.
- Disclaimer: the author is under 65. Just. What do you think? Are the signs offensive? Send a letter to the editor – [email protected]