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THE BEST...THE BEAUTIFUL...AND THE BIZARRE | SO SOCAL

Surf Bums Ahead

November 15, 1998|Josh Susong

Encinitas touts itself as the "Flower Capital of the World," but those weren't poinsettias popping up along Highway 101 this summer. The city's newest traffic warning signs alert motorists to beware of locals headed across the highway to hang ten. Resident and graphic artist Cris Hicks proposed the surfer-crossing road signs to the City Council in January. The council loved it and, according to Mayor Lou Aspell, the rest of the city--home to the Swami Surfing Assn. and the Rob Machado Surf Classic--loves them, too. "We wanted to put up signs that encouraged the image of the beach community and surfing," Aspell says. "They're great looking." Scattered in five locations along Highway 101 and Neptune and 3rd streets, the equal-opportunity signs are paired on both sides of the road: one shows a male surfer with a board slung under an arm, while opposite is a female, board balanced atop her head. Don't fret about the signs becoming wall art in some garage. Each is mounted eight feet off the curb and attached with vandal-resistant bolts to greased poles to discourage climbing.

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