Chris Graham: Facebook conundrum

A friend on Facebook wonders aloud (on Facebook) about bands on tape on stop signs in Waynesboro.

Some signs, Heather Chandler noticed, had one tape band, others two, others three.

“Not every sign at any given corner has the tape,” she Facebooked.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason.

“Does anyone know the reason for this tape?”

I get engaged in that effort by another Facebook friend.

“If he doesn’t know, he’ll want to know!” Mary Sproles Martin comments on the Facebook thread, by way of getting me on the case.

Within a few minutes, I’m e-mailing the city manager, Mike Hamp, who gets back to me in short order, telling me that he’s not sure at first glance, but will check.

Before an hour is up we have our answer.

“Our staff perceived an increase in signs being hit by vehicles,” Hamp e-mailed me, explaining that the strips of tape were actually scraps and were applied simply with the intention of increasing visibility.

“The scrap factor explains why some signs have more than others, and the apparent randomness I assume relates to signs that were more vulnerable, but I am only speculating,” Hamp e-mailed.

Bottom line: Scraps, promote visibility, reduce hitting of signs.

Hamp added that the program has been discontinued.

I shared the answer from Hamp on the Facebook thread.

“Thank you Chris – it is good to know that it’s not some kind of alien navigation system,” Chandler commented after.

With Martin adding: “Of course, it isn’t a very exciting explanation!”

More columns by Chris at

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is now available at a special pre-sale discounted price of $20. The book is expected to ship by June 10, 2019, and will retail for $25.
Pre-order for $20: click here.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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