Clever traps set for pedestrians at 4th and Elm. The idea is to convince them to drive instead.


The Green Mouse received a message: “Check out the death traps on the northwest corner of 4th and Elm.”

You mean these two holes?

The lawyers call this “premises liability,” but of course it’s a sidewalk, not a street — people too poor to have cars insist on walking, and taxpayers are the ones in automobiles — and so the city doesn’t care.

Here’s the Board of Public Works and Safety dialogue, recreated every Tuesday morning.

Utility Contractor: We have to tear up a bunch of shit. 

Warren Nash: Will it affect traffic?

Utility Contractor: No — we’ll dump the shit we tear up, right there on the sidewalk.

Warren Nash: What’s the board’s pleas … whatever — APPROVED.

It’s not in the water, folks. It’s in the institutional DNA of a dysfunctional city.