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Stop signs popping up all around town

It stopped me for a moment. A stop sign that is.
Nothing strange about that, except I was walking on Ives Avenue near the railroad tracks at the time. Stop signs are now posted on both sides of the tracks … along the pedestrian path.
Strange place for stop signs I thought. I later noticed more were posted at the Knight Avenue and another closed crossing farther to the east.
Are we having a problem with speedy, inattentive pedestrians, or bikers or techies with ear buds or headphones getting hit by passing trains?
Or do we have a surplus of stop signs in town now that it seems there is one at each corner in town. Ran out of places to put them, perhaps, so let’s slow down those walkers in town.
I try to be rational whenever possible, but stop signs for pedestrians?
It seems those in authority are so concerned that we cannot think properly that there needs to be a law or new regulations to keep us from hurting ourselves. That, folks, is a definition of a “nanny state.” It’s a state in which we are incapable of thinking for ourselves, therefore the state will do it for us.
My wife and I were in Red Wing recently and ran into a more sophisticated approach for non-thinkers. It involved talking pedestrian signals that literally tell when you should walk and when you should stay put. I guess Red Wingers who are word impaired need a little extra verbal guidance in getting across the street.
Remember the good old days when your mother reminded you constantly to look both ways before crossing the street? Well, we don’t need human reminders anymore. Technology has taken over.
That’s all we need, electronic naggers!
After several blocks of walking historic downtown Red Wing, we needed a respite from the nagging pedestrian signals. It got on our nerves in a hurry.
I guess we should be grateful, at least our stops signs don’t talk to us … yet.
All our stop signs are just as annoying, however.
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014, but still plans to submit an occasional column.