“Swells”‘ Safety At Risk After Rash Of Street Sign Thefts

Wellesley, Mass. is often mocked at “Swellesley” – ’cause that’s where the swell folks live. Image: The Swellesley Report,

Thieves keep swiping road signs in one of Boston’s toniest suburbs

| Officials say missing street signs can delay EMS responders

| By David Williams, Aug 12, 2019

CNN – Town officials in Wellesley, Massachusetts say people have been stealing street signs from a residential road that shares a name with the smash country/rap hit, “Old Town Road.” [Wait – country/rap? – Ed.]

The signs have been swiped at least three times in recent months.

“Currently the street sign posts are empty,” the city wrote. “The [city] is waiting for the song’s popularity to fade before replacing the signs again.”

“Old Town Road” has topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 18 weeks in a row — the longest run for a No. 1 single in the chart’s history.

Wellesley officials they say the thefts are still a serious and expensive problem; replacement signs cost about $280.

“First responders often rely on the street signs in emergencies and missing signs could delay response times,” the town wrote.

Wellesley, a suburb of Boston, is not the only community dealing with this.

In Sicamous, British Columbia, fans are stopping to pose for photos on Old Town Road.

After some of the road signs went missing, the local chamber of commerce made copies of the sign and started selling them … Read more. 

If EMS Can’t Find People on Unmarked Streets, It Won’t Be The First Time 

April 4, 2016 / Brooklyn news / Sheepshead Bay

Brooklyn, NY – The city must replace missing street signs in a Hurricane Sandy-ravaged section of Sheepshead Bay — even though it claims it is not responsible for maintaining them — before someone dies, locals are demanding.

The 2012 storm blew away the sign marking Lincoln Terrace — one of a handful of streets in a sub-neighborhood of beach bungalows served by narrow, alleyway streets — and no one ever put up new ones.

So ambulances couldn’t find an elderly Lincoln Terrace resident who called 911 with chest pains and difficulty breathing in February, and her family blames the missing sign and the city for endangering her life, her grandson said.

“There’s no sign and no indication that Lincoln Terrace exists,” said Donald Sutcliffe, whose grandmother Donata Halstead has lived on the byway for 43 years. “They drove right past where she lives. So luckily I was standing outside to tell the dispatcher to back down the street. When someone is not breathing, seconds — let alone minutes — make a huge difference.”

Halstead’s home is a stone’s throw from Nostrand Avenue — her front porch overlooks the arterial roadway. But the ambulance drove right past the woman’s house after dark on Feb 27, Sutcliffe said.

Ambulances are not equipped with global positioning systems, and it is up to drivers to know how to get to calls, officials said.

“Units are familiar with their response area,” said Fire Department spokeswoman Elisheva Zakheim. Read more.