Here’s What a $260,000 Road Sign Looks Like

Last night, the monument to “Fiscally Conservative” Diane Dixon was erected in her very own district.  The monstrosity will cost taxpayers more than 20% above what the infamous bunnies did, coming in at a total of $260,000 (the bunnies were $220,000).  The sign was such a bad idea that even the advocates for the sign– friends of mine who own some of the local businesses in the area– refused to pony up the money to buy it.  Yet their claim was that the sign would bring business to the area.  Do you see an incongruency here?  Yeah, that is seriously their only argument for the sign, and they seriously didn’t believe it enough to fund it themselves.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend: As a software developer, I have people come to me non-stop with ideas that they want me to do for free in exchange for stock, but don’t believe in enough themselves to put down any money.   This is exactly what happened with this sign.  There will be absolutely zero measurable benefit to this sign, and the even the business owners who lobbied for it know it– otherwise they would have come together to purchase this sign years ago to increase their own revenue– but they didn’t.  A sickening display of waste and a complete disregard for taxpayer dollars.

But let’s stop shaming the people who lobbied for this, let’s examine how effective this will be.  When was the last time you used an actual paper map?  A year ago?  Two?  Five?  A decade or more ago?  I’m betting the latter.  The fact is that GPS– via destinations themselves– is what drives traffic now.  Wayfinding devices (that’s what civil engineers call signs) no longer help to drive traffic, and even if they did, the only way to see this sign is if you are on Balboa Peninsula, driving 2.4 miles down the only road– named Balboa Blvd– towards the Balboa Pier.  But let’s take the absurd angle and pretend they did tell people something they didn’t already know– what did it accomplish, exactly?

This is not a “lure” to the area.  This is a gross display of financial incompetency.  The seal in the middle of this sign says “Home Of The Fun Zone”, which might as well say “Home of The Rendezvous Ballroom”, as one was destroyed by the crony, taxpayer-funded ExplorOcean just a decade ago, and the other was destroyed by fire.

With the amount of money spent here, they could have outfitted every major crosswalk on the peninsula with flashing lights, where we regularly have people run over and even killed— instead of spending this money where it can actually help public safety, we have a massive roadsign that does absolutely nothing at all.

I try to keep my posts calm and collected but when I see something as obnoxious as this, you may occasionally be able to read my seething teeth through my words.  Sorry about that.  Share this with your friends if you think this is as wasteful as I do.

More photos below:

Concept Art by City of Newport Beach
Photo by Lori Boyle
Photo by Dave Rose



About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at