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March 5th, 2014 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Dr. Know: Signing-Off On Signs

Who paid for the interstate signs pointing to the Moda Center instead of the Rose Garden?

drknowILLUSTRATION: Hawk Krall
I noticed all the interstate signs have been changed to direct people to Moda Center instead of the Rose Garden. Who paid for those new signs? Paul Allen or you and me?

—A Different Paul

’Tis the season for the Grouchy Taxpayer Nitpick. As Tax Day draws ever nearer, even good, squishy liberals become Tea Partiers for a day, ready to see waste, fraud and abuse in every government program. (It’s probably just as well we don’t have elections in mid-April, or the president of the United States would be named Santorum.)

Still, I get your point. I have no love for anti-tax zealots (if they wanted my sympathy, they should have built a world where I make enough money to owe taxes), but no one wants to imagine that a portion of their tax bill is going directly into the ermine-lined pockets of the .0001 percent.

Well, Different, I hope you’re sitting down, because it turns out we did not pay for that signage. I mean, you and I wouldn’t have paid anyway, since I’m homeless and you’re in prison. But what I mean is that Moda Center picked up the tab—no taxpayers were harmed in the making of those signs.

I’ll wait a moment for your little three-cornered hat to stop spinning comically six inches above your head, then I’ll explain.

Freeway signage normally gets replaced every 15 years or so. If you’re willing to wait for the next scheduled sign replacement, you can get the new name of your mall, hospital or hockey rink posted for free.

If you’re in a hurry, though, you can commission an engineering plan for new signage and submit it to the folks at the Oregon Department of Transportation. If it meets their standards, they and their approved contractors will work with you—on your dime—to make the change.


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