Never mind the bollards

During a Nov. 18 interfaith prayer service urging action to prevent home foreclosures that took place outside the Treasury Building in Washington — which is right next door to the White House, and therefore subject to all of the security-state measures the nation’s chief executive gets — there were several big trucks, including a crane, working on a Pennsylvania Avenue, which is otherwise shut off to vehicular traffic.

So how do vehicles get inside the phalanx of protective bollards, those metal-coated cement obelisks installed every two feet or so in front of many federal office buildings?

It turns out that not all of them are totally stationary. Inside a guard shack on Pennsylvania Avenue just west of 15th Street NW, an officer can push a button, and four of the bollards will retract to below street level, allowing drivers of four-wheeled (or more) vehicles to come and go. Once they’ve passed, the bollards reappear.

It’s not exactly a quick process, but for somebody who doesn’t have a habit of seeing things systematically sink into the ground, it’s a fascinating process to watch.

I wonder now who else at the prayer service might have spotted the disappearing bollards — and whether they hoped they could make their mortgage miseries disappear as quickly as those bollards.

3 Responses

  1. Who’d have thought that we’d see a mild Sex Pistols reference in a CNS headline? Pretty funny.

  2. Oops, probably just the author sneaking something past his editors. Apologies …

  3. A reference to the well-known Sex Pistols scurrility is what St. Paul had in mind when he said “such things should never be mentioned among you”. It is shameful and outrageous that such a thing is publicly posted on the site of the Catholic News Service. Where is the sense of modesty, continence, and chastity that honor the Holy Spirit? It shows only too well how denatured Catholicism has become in Obama Nation.

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