Monday, June 23, 2008

Ain't No Future In Yo' Scrapin'

So, how's life now on Second Avenue with the traffic calming speed lumps (defined below) that were installed by the City of Sacramento last year?:
Speed Lumps – Asphalt mounds, parabolic in shape, covering 12 feet of street with a height between 3 ¼ and 3 ¾ inches. The center mound or lump, has a width of 5 ½ feet to accommodate the wheelbase of fire trucks and buses. The lumps adjacent to the center lump vary in width to accommodate the street width. Depending on the street width, a 5 ½ foot lump may be placed in each travel lane. First testing of speed lumps in Sacramento was done in February 2000. Speed lumps have been approved by the Fire Department for use on emergency response routes and by Sacramento Regional Transit for use on bus routes.
For me, it's been pretty nice, because there are no longer the high speed chases down the street that would sometimes alarm Sparky and me on our nightly walks. And since one set of speed lumps is right in front of my house, the cars slow down markedly there, and the drivers focus with particular intensity on the pavement (and don't stare, for example, at the peeling paint on the house).

Of course, there are drawbacks. This morning I watched a low rider approach the speed lumps and slow way, way down. A profound bass that could be heard a quarter mile away was bumping on the stereo. It was that classic tune, MC Breed and DFC's "Ain't No Future In Yo' Frontin":
Cruel to the rules of the world
Live my life raw, cause I never liked the law
Wear top tens, on my ass use jeans
Sellin big 8ths and tit-for-tat to the fiends
Clock much dollars, but I never break a sweat
Time to move out, my posse sayin (bet)
You got my back, and I got yours
What time is it? Hm, Tear down the doors

There ain't no future in your frontin
Never was, cuz
There ain't no future in your frontin
Even though the driver slowed down to one mile per hour, or less, he made it over the speed lumps only with much metallic screeching and scraping.

What looks to me like progress looks to others like anything but.

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