Q. "Little Saigon," "Korean District" – more and more road signs are appearing on the 22 Freeway that seem to indicate we are no longer in the U.S. Who approves these road signs? What is the point? And who pays for these signs? American taxpayers?Traffic is a big deal in Southern California, so naturally all the papers have traffic columnists. Dave Crow asks an interesting question that is pregnant with subtext. Despite living in a multi-cultural society like the United States with ethnic enclaves being a part of the national fabric for centuries, Dave Crow feels he's "no longer in the U.S." when he sees places in OC like Westminster's Little Saigon (touted as the largest Vietnamese community outside Vietnam) and Garden Grove's Koreatown that no one officially calls Koreatown even though it's a Koreatown.
A. Honk likes 'em, Dave, so he knows where to pull off of the 22 to find a Lee's (Vietnamese) Sandwiches. But, alas, you didn't ask for his thoughts, did you?Good on you, Mr Radcliffe. Why should these be un-American? For that matter, why should these signs be seen as being only for the benefit of Vietnamese-Americans or Korean-Americans? It's showing everybody where to go for Lee's Sandwiches or a good Korean barbecue. Maybe OC residents on a tight budget can use the signs to find an affordable Korean supermarket.
To get your info, Honk chatted with Caltrans spokesman Allen Shahood, who said that usually a civic group asks for such things, then it is considered by Caltrans and, if approved, the sign's sponsor picks up the tab.
Not sure how many peeps find the signs un-American, Dave, but such freeway signs, which tell motorists how to get to ethnic communities, are as common as SigAlerts.
Shahood said Caltrans wants the signs to be simple. And, of course, the agency has to guard against a freeway becoming choked with too many signs so that motorists actually can read them.
A large sign might set back the sponsor about 500 won or dong – er, Honk means bucks.
Sometimes it sucks to be a minority. And no matter where you're from, I'm pretty sure minorities there don't have a rosy time all the time with the "majority" population there. Even in the United States, millions upon millions of Asian-Americans are still seen as different and not even fully American by some Whites (and Blacks).Nevertheless (and perhaps I'm naïve), but I hope that the "Jim Radcliffes" of America outnumber the "Dave Crows" (and my apologies to Mr Dave Crow if it seems I'm picking on him for this view, which he may in fact feel I've misinterpreted).