Just when you think the world is messed up enough, someone blows up a trash truck on the highway.
If you didn’t hear about this south Overland Park tragedy, it’s because it didn’t happen. Nevertheless, the fact remains much of grass on U.S. Highway 69’s grass is hidden from the sun, especially at the Blue Valley Parkway exit to 159th Street that is literally a dump.
Every four score or so, the median grass is cut on this section of road. I’ve never seen anyone doing this, but I assume famished sheep or goats are required.
Then, you have no obstruction from the pile of recyclables. These are a few of my observations during routine chauffeuring — bags of grass cuttings from the prior clipping of grass, plastic sheeting blowing around like lazy tumbleweeds, diapers that are politely folded with the tabs encircling the surprise, and tires (yes, there are several).
I can understand if someone gets a flat tire in the middle of the night and parts of the tire are strewn alongside the pullover lane, but there are actually whole tires lining the ditches.
How can our fair city have such a pollution problem? Aren’t there littering laws in Kansas? I’ve traveled through numerous other states and have seen signs boldly threatening their littering fines. Where are ours?
No highway littering… fines up to $10,000, plus we keep your first born child.
Speaking of teen drivers, I have two theories why this stretch of pavement is trashed.
First, I thought there was a trash dump located in the vicinity, and with the winds ripping off the Kansas plains, piles of debris were being swept away. Perhaps, it’s because so many trash trucks were stuffed to the brim on the return to the dump and faultily deposited refuse willy-nilly.
My other theory was that the highway exits are close to two high schools, and the students flailing between being micromanaged, over-schooled, over-activitied lives, while dodging lasers emitting from their phones had the caring portion of their brains turned to mush. This leaves them not having enough time or good sense to use receptacles like the rest of us humans.
Forty years ago, you would find signs announcing the proud sponsors of a stretch of highway. I guess with membership dwindling at the Lions Club, the VFW and the Knights of Columbus, no one is grabbing sections of the highways to be cleaned.
Perhaps, purchasing a chunk of highway isn’t as hip as it used to be.
So, what can you do about this? I’m glad you asked. Nothing really, unless you want to walk a few feet away from racing vehicles while picking up trash with a pointed stick.
I’m sure not volunteering for that job. But what if the law enforcement were to fine folks a crazy amount for throwing trash out the windows? Buy some big luminous signs reminding drivers to toss their trash onto the front passenger floor, like everyone else.
If the state can’t afford a few signs, maybe someone could donate a flock of goats? I’m pretty sure they’re tax deductible.
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