B-Town Undercover: Budding Artist Operates City Machinery

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by Shawn Underwood

The roads and lane dividers in the Burien intersections cannot get much worse.

Seriously, with all of the weaving required due to hastily applied road lines and dashes, we may as well be living in the Wild West, and revert to riding horses. Hayes Feed and Country Store, (formerly Kirk’s Feed Store) on SW 152nd, has enough hay to feed 100 starving mustangs – now all they need are hitchin’ posts in place of the parking stalls in the front.

The kindergarten chalk marks (lane lines) on SW 148th, and on the cross streets of First Ave. South and SW 160th require Mario Andretti-like driving skills.

More than once I have witnessed zombie-like drivers attempting to drive through an intersection, and then stop in the middle of it.

“Where in tarnation is my lane?” they say to themselves.

While not an actual B-Town road, I think Burien's lane-painter learned from the Artist who did this masterpiece.

Once through the collision course intersection, take care not to run over the new constructed curb. The protrusion juts into the intersection, leaving the now thoroughly annoyed driver to either drive over the curb, or simply veer into the adjacent lane. This leads to “near misses” and most certainly to angry fists waving out the window, sometimes accompanied by foul language not printable in Underwood/Undercover’s column.

I wonder if the operator of city “lane-painting” machine is an artist. I imagine the dreadlocked artist thinking to himself, “Hmmm, these straight lines are so boring, a curvy line is really much more pleasant to look at.”

I personally take a deep breath when I motor behind people who get confused by the bumper car lanes. Maybe they are not “locals,” and are unaware of the haphazard lanes in the intersections, or perhaps a “Burienite” is late to work and looking for the toothpaste/toothbrush stashed in their deli-wagon.

Maybe it’s a test by the powers-that-be in the city of Burien. If we can navigate crooked laned intersections without causing mayhem and destruction, then possibly they will budget more money for planting REAL flowers in the center partition of 148th Avenue.

At one time cherry-colored pansies adorned the long median of SW 148th. Then the flowers were gone, not wilted, just dug up in the middle of the night. Some joker put a fake palm tree or some such thing in the median to replace the rainbow colored flowers. Possibly a hint to the city to plant REAL flowers, giving the taxpayers something to look at as we wait for the police to clear the inevitable fender bender in the poorly-painted intersection of death.

So, I am all about improving our little known oasis fondly known as “ B-Town,” but let’s get our priorities (or at least the lanes) in the intersections straight.

Otherwise, I guess I should be looking for a good “used” horse that can walk a straight line!

Twenty-five years of living in Burien gives Humorist Shawn Underwood much fodder for her writings.

All of her stories are true, or at least have a grain of truth with no added embellishments.

Or something like that.

Read more of her humor at her website here.

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