A $2 million investment into a downtown improvement project has yielded an unintentionally distracting image, some residents say. Downtown Winters has new benches and new brick sidewalks, but that's not what people seem to be noticing on the corner of Railroad and Main.
Many residents can't agree on what the newly erected, three-foot-high pedestrian barriers look like. "They look like fire hydrants that have been painted," said one man. A woman named Katie suggested the thirteen barriers looked like chess pieces. Debra LoGuercio, a columnist for the Winters Express, saw something completely different.
"By God, they're penises," Debra said. "And it's a nice sturdy one at that." "I've heard people leaning out the window, saying, 'Love the penises!" she laughed, "which you don't hear very often." City officials weren't terribly amused when we brought the subject up to them. The city manager wouldn't go on camera to talk about it, saying it's juvenile. Many residents agree with him -- John Pickerel owns two restaurants on the corner, and he's all for the streetscape improvements.