A Fine Start To The Morning

This isn't a child's game, it's serious business.

This isn’t a child’s game, it’s serious business.

Imagine walking outside and seeing this on your street. It happened to me earlier this week. Had children gone crazy with spray paint or sidewalk chalk? A closer look showed me that it was some sort of coded message, but by who and for what? A few white markings had shown up in the street days earlier, but this explosion of color and marks was shocking. A neighbor was walking by and pointed out a few words naming some communication companies. I was amazed that the marks had been made with no notice from the city or whatever agency was responsible. What was going on? A search of the internet provided a clue to some of the code, thanks to an article at the Smithsonian website explaining road graffiti by utility workers. The colors represent different underground cables: red is for electric and power, yellow is gas or oil, orange is communication, etc. White designates proposed digging. So, it looked like someone wanted to dig in the street, and the marks were showing where all the underground utility stuff was buried. I called the city and learned that the graffiti was called “a mark out.” A communication company had requested it because it wanted to do a dig. It’s been days and so far nothing else has happened. This will be interesting.


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