The Schiller Park rec center parking lot used to have a wide open, fan-shaped entrance. It had a welcoming, graceful feel to it, well befitting the rambling, shady feel of the old park itself and the elegant brick houses that surround it.
But a few weeks ago a work crew showed up and ripped it out. In its place they poured this concrete monstrosity, which blocks the entrance and sticks out like a sore thumb. They put up a traffic sign and painted direction arrows, too, just in case drivers might not get the idea from the lanes created by the concrete blockade.
Why was this done? I’m guessing there was an accident or two at the entrance, as a car swung too wide in entering or exiting, and somebody decided that “public safety” required that this ugly, stark roadblock was therefore necessary to protect our hapless populace from the acts of a few inept motorists. Who knows how much it cost in dollars — but the aesthetic cost is tremendous
I can’t help but think it’s a bit of a metaphor for America writ large these days, with some faceless government functionary deciding that everyday people need to be sternly directed into precise channels of behavior. The result is predictably hideous.