From The “Res Ipsa Loquitur” Files: Now THIS Is Incompetence!

Behold the newly painted traffic lines on a highway in Hollister, California.

No, there is no catch, excuse or hidden explanation. Just…morons.

Hollister Mayor Igancio Velzaquez was blunt, if not quite blunt enough, saying, “It just comes down to the contractor. Somebody didn’t read the plans correctly. It was not designed to look very odd.”


Pointer: Boing-Boing

24 thoughts on “From The “Res Ipsa Loquitur” Files: Now THIS Is Incompetence!

  1. Those markings might make sense if they were stretched 10x along the axis of the road, while maintaining the same width. My guess is that the plans used different scales, one for the length of the road and another for the width, but the (idiot) contractor laid them out as though they were drawn to the same scale.

    Thus, a pavement marking pattern meant to cover 10 blocks (with gradual changes in lane widths), was reduced to one block, with absurd lane widths. A minimally competent contractor would have verified the plans with the city engineer before actually putting down paint.

    • Yeah… There was a GPS involved, and the first thing I thought was a scale problem. You can see the dots between the yellow lines that the paint truck was meant to follow…. But really… You’d hope that at some point a human might be involved, and that human might notice that the markers were off.

  2. I want to see the plan. This looks like standard modern “traffic calming” street design but is missing the crucial center medians and curb work. I bet it was a sequencing problem in the planning, or the more expensive parts were axed without the planning department updating their paint plan.

    Painters are notorious for doing exactly just painting. Root cause is probably more akin to house painters doing their work after the carpet, wall plates, and trim were installed instead of before. That’s not a “contractor problem”, it’s a planning problem.

      • I agree. At some point, wouldn’t the painters look at what they were doing and say, “Hey, this doesn’t make any sense and looks rather dangerous. Are we sure this is right?”

        There is something to be said for not always just doing what the instructions tell you to do and asking for clarification when something doesn’t look right.

    • I second WallPhone’s traffic calming theory. There’s a street in Phoenix that runs parallel to a park. There are islands inside the lines where they widen. The funny thing is, I think the traffic calming may in fact increase speeds. I’ll admit they are fun to drive through at increased speeds as if you’re on a Formula One track. Guilty as charged.

    • “This looks like standard modern ‘traffic calming’ street design but is missing the crucial center medians and curb work.”

      It’s not “standard” traffic calming; it is an undrivable mess and center medians would only make it worse. As stated above, it might be a standard pattern over several blocks, but it is an absolutely inappropriate pattern compressed to fit along a single block.

  3. A few months ago I watched a robot painting lines on a soccer field. There was a young man there who’s job it was to refill the paint between each soccer field and to make sure the robot didn’t paint anything crazy. All it requires is common sense and proper supervision.

  4. I would guess that photo was shot with a pretty long lens, flattening the perspective and exaggerating the side-to-side changes in the lanes. I’m sure it would look very different from an overhead view.

  5. How about this for incompetence

    Tony Dow’s management team announced the actor’s passing this morning. It’s been carried across all media outlets and has sparked condolences from fans and colleagues from all over.

    However, Dow is not yet dead. He is fading fast and in hospice care, but still alive.

    I’d say Dow should fire his management team for not confirming first, but he’s probably got more important things on his mind right now and they will be out of a job soon anyway.

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