21:45 EST, 8 November 2013
21:46 EST, 8 November 2013
Taxpayers in Memphis were left in disbelief this week after city workers painted street lines straight over a pile of leaves and garden debris by the side of the road.
While some residents saw the funny side, other people slammed the fact that workers didn’t move the trash out of the way first as ‘lazy’, and a waste of their money.
But local station WMCTV reported that according to a City of Memphis worker the strange move, on Crumpler Road near Valley Oak Drive, was actually done deliberately.
Lazy: Some Memphis residents were angered by what they saw as a waste of taxpayers’ money when workmen painted a white line over a pile of leaves and other garden debris
Complaints first flooded in on Facebook. One resident wrote: ‘The engineering division is looking into the problem and a solution?
‘This is laughable. Fire the incompetent people who did this and repaint the section. Good grief! How much money will they waste trying to figure out what to do about this!’
Another angrily added: ‘I know there are some good workers, but as a whole it is pitiful the apathy and lazy attitudes in the Memphis city organizations.’
But the city said painting over the trash was in line with policy, and actually more to do with safety than sloth.
Straight ahead: The white marking headed straight over the pile of organic trash, but a city engineer said the marking was actually in line with policy
WMCTV quoted Memphis engineer John Cameron saying: ‘We have over 750 miles of street that we stripe. We try to do that over a three year cycle. It was done per our policy.’
The street striping is reportedly done using an almost 1000-foot-long convoy of three huge vehicles.
And Cameron said that once this massive procession gets moving, it’s dangerous to stop it.
‘Once this large convoy gets rolling, it’s really safer and more efficient for it to just keep rolling. We don’t want to, particularly on a busy street, to stop the convoy,’ he said.
Workers are instead instructed to make a note of obstructions in the way of the machines and return with a smaller team to touch up any missing sections of the line.
Safety first: The striping crew is not meant to stop for anything. ‘Once this large convoy gets rolling, it’s really safer and more efficient for it to just keep rolling,’ said the Memphis City worker
According to Cameron, the only mistake made in this case was not stopping the flow of paint and painting over the garden waste in the way.
The crew are meant to keep moving forward in any eventuality, but if they had turned the stream of white paint off, this controversy would have been avoided.
Cameron said his workers are going to be reminded about the correct procedure in street striping.