Infrastructure & Environment

Staying Within The Lines...

You've heard of the "thin blue line"? Bethany, Oklahoma, is pinning its hopes on a thick one. The town painted a bright blue, 8-foot-wide line to denote where its boundaries end and those of the next city over begin.
by | February 2003

You've heard of the "thin blue line"? Bethany, Oklahoma, is pinning its hopes on a thick one. The town painted a bright blue, 8-foot-wide line to denote where its boundaries end and those of the next city over begin. In tough budget times, Bethany officials are more concerned than ever that their residents are paying sales taxes that benefit other jurisdictions.

Bethany has experienced an 8 percent decline in sales tax revenue in the past 10 months and is seeking to reverse that trend. "The corporate boundaries are so irregular that people have been shopping in another city and been unaware," says city manager Dan Galloway. The line is also intended to show businesses thinking about relocating there that the municipal government is encouraging people to shop within the city limits.

Although the line is painted on the street, curbs and sidewalks, Galloway is quick to add, "we're not painting stripes on grass and across people's lawns."

...GOING BEYOND THE LIMITS

Perhaps the Windy City should consider Bethany-style lines of demarcation. Recently, a crew from the Chicago Revenue Department booted the cars of several people who owed parking-ticket fines. The problem was that the cars were parked in Indiana. Apparently, there are streets where the odd-numbered side is in Indiana and the even- numbered side is in Illinois.

However, the city resurfaces, cleans and puts signage on both sides of the street, so it's not too surprising that the booters thought the cars on the Indiana side of the street were fair game, says Annette Arredondo, spokeswoman for the department. Steps are being taken to make it less likely that cross-state booting will occur again, such as getting a list of which streets are similarly split. But there are no guarantees someone won't repeat the mistake. "It's a really fine line. It's not like there's a sign that says this side is Indiana, this side is Chicago."

As we were saying, perhaps the Windy City...

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