Symbols in the Street

Walking to work yesterday, I spotted a guy standing in the middle of the intersection at State and Madison. Traffic was spilling all around him, but he slowly and methodically made his way across the busy intersection, spray painting the same symbol every few feet.

I hung out on the corner for a bit, taking some photos of him at work. And luckily, he started heading back my way. When he got close, I waved at him and got a chance to ask what he was doing.

A few weeks ago, I had seen a similar set of marks along the street – and found out that he was simply re-painting some markings he had made, previously. These marks were for Level 3 Fibre Optic lines, though I forget now which company it was for.

I found out that the symbols change, depending on the company. Apparently, AT&T likes “a big H.”

When I asked how he knew where the cable was located, he mentioned having to open up a manhole and clipping the line with… something. I’m not sure how that part of the process worked, but by this point I felt like I was taking up too much of his time.

Fascinating stuff. If I could have followed him around for the rest of the day, I would have done so in a heartbeat. I love learning about other people’s jobs.

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