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Old 06-27-2008, 10:29 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 6,123,398 times
Reputation: 1815

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
I never noticed them before the early 90ís but now they are everywhere; at least in NJ and PA. Are these eyesores a problem where you live?

Apparently when someone dies in a traffic accident, people feel compelled to place all kinds of garbage on the side of the road at the site of the accident, and this somehow ďhonorsĒ the deceased person. Itís just plain trashy and undignified. Youíve seen them: piles of artificial flowers, hand-made signs, tattered moldy teddy bears. Some people even build semi-permanent crosses out of white PVC fence posts or pipes to ďmemorializeĒ their loved ones. Classy, huh?

To me, such a vulgar display is more of an insult to the personís memory. It says ďhere is where a low-life diedĒ even if itís not the case. It probably says more about the amount of class or refinement the mourners have (or lack).

If I should ever die in a car accident, I certainly donít want to be memorialized with a bunch of faded fake flowers and dirty stuffed animals tied around a telephone pole! Send $20 to a charity in my name and call it a day.

If you lose someone to an auto accident, yes, you are grieving. But there are plenty of more tasteful, dignified ways of expressing your grief and paying tribute to the person aside from putting a bunch of junk on the roadside where the rest of us have to look at it.
You could visit the personís grave (I hear lots of people do that).
Place flowers on their grave.
Set up a memorial webpage.
Put together a scrapbook or photo album.
Write an obituary and send it to the newspaper.
Take out a classified ad with a eulogy to the person.
If you need an ďaltarĒ, set one up in your house, or in your yard. Your back yard.
Hell, get a memorial tattoo if thatís your thing.

I understand that people all grieve differently. But please donít allow your grief to litter the scenery for the rest of us. Keep it in the cemetery; thatís what theyíre for (and even most of them have standards about what objects you can leave).

I learned that a few states have made these things illegal, and I support that if thatís what the local citizens chose to do. But Iím not too much into creating more laws, just enforcing the existing ones. People should be fined for littering when they do this. In most places littering means at least a $200 fine. Maybe people who are forced to pick up trash by the roadside as court-mandated community service should be assigned to get rid of these gaudy piles of garbage.
But I wish the people would just decide on their own to at least try to appear to have some couth and not do this in the first place.

Okay, attack me for being mean..... I can handle it.
I have seen these roadside memorials that you are talking about, even out here in Arizona.

I think your post was somewhat condescending. It is up to the family and friends of the deceased to decide how that person will be memorialized. You basically speed by the memorial, so really you only see the memorial for a fleeting second, if at all. The people who obviously care enough to build the memorial from their family member of friend have to live with that person's death forever. If personal items like underwear, dentures, a wig or something were strewn all over the memorial, then I could see your point. However, staring at a moldy teddy bear and old flowers for 3 seconds a day really shouldn't be that bothersome.

You have to also understand that some people can barely afford to bury their relatives, much less afford a tombstone. In that case, they probably scrap together whatever pieces they can find around to make some kind of marker in rememberance of the person.

Everyone has different ways they choose to honor the dead. I think we should be respectful of those ways and hope that people care enough about us when we pass to even make a memorial.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:46 PM
 
11,883 posts, read 32,924,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiman View Post
I have seen these roadside memorials that you are talking about, even out here in Arizona.

I think your post was somewhat condescending. It is up to the family and friends of the deceased to decide how that person will be memorialized. You basically speed by the memorial, so really you only see the memorial for a fleeting second, if at all. The people who obviously care enough to build the memorial from their family member of friend have to live with that person's death forever. If personal items like underwear, dentures, a wig or something were strewn all over the memorial, then I could see your point. However, staring at a moldy teddy bear and old flowers for 3 seconds a day really shouldn't be that bothersome.

You have to also understand that some people can barely afford to bury their relatives, much less afford a tombstone. In that case, they probably scrap together whatever pieces they can find around to make some kind of marker in rememberance of the person.

Everyone has different ways they choose to honor the dead. I think we should be respectful of those ways and hope that people care enough about us when we pass to even make a memorial.
But putting ANYTHING in state-controlled rights of way without the state's permission is ILLEGAL. There are other ways to memorialize our beloved deceased such as adopting a section of highway in their name. But randomly putting up crosses or teddy bears is against the law (even if it's not always enforced) and can potentially cause more road hazard.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:58 PM
 
1,075 posts, read 3,246,449 times
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Just when you think you’ve heard it all along comes another, death on our roads is a sudden tragedy as we have no clue of when it could happen unlike terminal illnesses and yes none of us really do know when our time is up but highway deaths blindside us so much it becomes necessary for some to do these roadside memorials to help cope with the loss of not just one but often several that perish.

If you feel it’s your little pet peeve than that’s your right but don’t make it out like people are dumping bags of garbage on the roads, look at it in a different perspective, I don’t mean this to sound morbid but that families loss being a tragic one could and probably will make others think when they drive past that memorial, especially younger people.

If it saves just one life or slows some down let them stay were placed and respect it, remove them and there could very well be another tragic accident in the very same location.

Each time I pass one it surely makes me think of not an eyesore, or littering, I feel for the person or persons who lost there life there and hope that no others shall experience loss of life as they had.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:06 PM
 
11,883 posts, read 32,924,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joee View Post
Just when you think youíve heard it all along comes another, death on our roads is a sudden tragedy as we have no clue of when it could happen unlike terminal illnesses and yes none of us really do know when our time is up but highway deaths blindside us so much it becomes necessary for some to do these roadside memorials to help cope with the loss of not just one but often several that perish.

If you feel itís your little pet peeve than thatís your right but donít make it out like people are dumping bags of garbage on the roads, look at it in a different perspective, I donít mean this to sound morbid but that families loss being a tragic one could and probably will make others think when they drive past that memorial, especially younger people.

If it saves just one life or slows some down let them stay were placed and respect it, remove them and there could very well be another tragic accident in the very same location.

Each time I pass one it surely makes me think of not an eyesore, or littering, I feel for the person or persons who lost there life there and hope that no others shall experience loss of life as they had.
Well why stop there? Let's just allow people to put up random memorials wherever anyone dies: on ski slopes, on sidewalks, at water parks, and so forth. I feel sorry for those who have lost loved ones in road accidents. But I don't know why they feel the rest of us should grieve with them forever and ever.

I agree with those states that are trying to make their highways safer by banning these so-called memorials.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,223,450 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valleys_of_hills View Post
Let the mourners mourn how they want to. You're the one who is making judgments on "taste". I think the opinions of the people who put the memorials there are more relevant than yours.
I don't understand roadside memorials. Their grief is their own, not ours. Sorry they're going through it, but there is no reason to put it out on public display and try to force us to be a part of it. "Grief exhibitionism" is creepy and distasteful.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:15 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 6,123,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMT View Post
But putting ANYTHING in state-controlled rights of way without the state's permission is ILLEGAL. There are other ways to memorialize our beloved deceased such as adopting a section of highway in their name. But randomly putting up crosses or teddy bears is against the law (even if it's not always enforced) and can potentially cause more road hazard.
It's only illegal and hazard when you disagree with it. I'm sure if the debate was over a sign endorsing a political candidate with whose message you agreed with, there would be no problem. It is also illegal to go above the speed limit on the road. Do you always abide by that? It's illegal to travel in the left hand lane on the freeway except when passing? Do you always abide by that? I have never seen a memorial that was that hazardous. None of the memorials I have seen have been so large or ornate that they have distracted my eyes from the road. If you feel endangered by a little wooden white cross, often attached to trees, I'm not sure that you should be on the road.

It is much easier to put up a little memorial on the side of the road than to attempt to adopt a highway. The purpose of Adopt a Highway was to control litter along the side of roadways. Not everyone wants to come out and be responsible for picking up people's beer bottles, dirty diapers, and various trash that is disposed of in remembrance of a loved one.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:25 PM
 
3,326 posts, read 7,752,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
I don't understand roadside memorials. Their grief is their own, not ours. Sorry they're going through it, but there is no reason to put it out on public display and try to force us to be a part of it. "Grief exhibitionism" is creepy and distasteful.
What I find particularly odd, is when people display this information on the back window of their cars. Some of it is even written with shoe polish. Others use more permanent stickers. Very strange, I think.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:40 PM
 
11,883 posts, read 32,924,797 times
Reputation: 8636
Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiman View Post
It's only illegal and hazard when you disagree with it. I'm sure if the debate was over a sign endorsing a political candidate with whose message you agreed with, there would be no problem. It is also illegal to go above the speed limit on the road. Do you always abide by that? It's illegal to travel in the left hand lane on the freeway except when passing? Do you always abide by that? I have never seen a memorial that was that hazardous. None of the memorials I have seen have been so large or ornate that they have distracted my eyes from the road. If you feel endangered by a little wooden white cross, often attached to trees, I'm not sure that you should be on the road.
Of course, if I'm speeding I understand that I risk getting pulled over. If I disobey other laws, I understand the risks. I always find it fascinating that some people think they're above the laws and should be granted special privileges.

It is illegal in most states to put up makeshift and homemade memorials along the sides of highways. And just because you personally don't see the hazard in makeshift memorials doesn't mean the hazard isn't there.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:19 AM
 
1,075 posts, read 3,246,449 times
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I wouldn’t go as far to say that we all grieve forever and ever as we pass these memorials, if that’s the case then let us ban cemeteries from sight also, heck after all they’re taking up valuable space that we could blacktop or build over, simply cremate everyone.

We can get off topic and talk about roadside safety also, one could become seriously injured or killed putting up a roadside memorial true but while we’re so safety concerned let’s ban billboards, women in mini skirts that distract us guys, cell phone usage, putting on make- up in car, driving with animals on lap, yard sale signs are placed upon state and local right of ways but it’s done every week, heavily wooded and weeded areas very near intersections and side roads, the list could go on forever, the percentage of roadside memorials as compared to roadside deaths is just a small percentage, if the states and federal gov want to make roads safer put in better and more median barriers, blend in some type of reflective material into the roadway lines and markers to make them more visible in bad weather, increase highway patrols.

There are many things that can be done and have been done but my feeling on roadside memorials is lesser of a concern than many other things out there, I worry more about things down in the weeds such as glass bottle, piece of rubber (alligator), piece of steel, etc coming out of a bush hog rather than some ones memorial coming out of one.

Here’s an idea, let’s ban those Smokey bear billboards also.
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Sandhills
2,177 posts, read 3,176,457 times
Reputation: 2741
I must admit, that some do look to be in pretty bad shape. I guess if you are going to put up something for someone you should also assume the responibility of caring for the memorial.

Other than that, I see nothing wrong with them as long as they are not a traffic hazard in anyway by blocking views of oncoming traffic at intersections.

When I see these it has always been a reminder for me to drive more carefully and watch out for the other guy.
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