Put a cone on it…. the Chicago way

I’ve previously documented the Providence phenomenon of “putting a cone on it.” Much like the hip crafters of Portlandia like to put a bird on most anything in order to make it more fun, the city of Providence likes to put a cone on anything that could be hazardous but they don’t have enough money to fix yet. This is usually a pothole. Eventually the pothole gets too big for a cone, and so they resort to the super-sized version:

They stick a barrel in it.

A reader recently tipped me off that Chicago has done us one better. Sure they’ll put a cone on it just like we do…

But if it involves covering up a hole where there used to be a lightpost, they put a cone on it, then they bolt that cone to the ground!


If someone brings a pothole to your city, you bring a cone! If they bring a giant pothole, you bring a barrel! And if they take one of your streetlights, you bring a cone and bolt it into the ground where that streetlight used to be – that’s the Chicago way!

7 responses to “Put a cone on it…. the Chicago way

  1. I’m sure someone in Providence gives directions referencing “where the streetlight used to be.”

    • The would need to do that since the state of the street signs is so poor. A better direction would be, “turn where the street sign used to be.”

  2. There’s a cone remnant bolted to a streetlight remnant in LaSalle Square. I’ll try to remember to get a photo for you.

  3. Somewhere, Beyonce is re-working her Single Ladies hit (per PVD’s request) to reflect future, city-wide construction projects. It will remind citizens that “if you like it then you shoulda put a cone on it…”

  4. See also–
    Vanishing Streetlights: Where Sorting Hats are sent to die.

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