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Dax Tran-Caffee
Level 4: 608 points
Alltime Score: 4123 points
Last Logged In: July 7th, 2014
BADGE: Journey To The End Of The Night Organizer TEAM: Team Shplank TEAM: CGØ TEAM: Real Name TEAM: Public Library Zero TEAM: League of Human Hybrids TEAM: Bike Society For Nihilistic Intent And Disruptive Efforts Rank 1: Anti


75 + 430 points

Public Sign Makeover by Dax Tran-Caffee

April 9th, 2008 1:32 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Totally replace a public sign (the bigger the better) with a modified version.

Lamppost at 2861 N Elston, Chicago, IL

Installed at 1PM, Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Duration: STILL THERE (September 6, 2011 at 8:02pm)

Intended to break down tension between motorists and bicyclists in a city where the two are particularly violent towards each other.

Installed along a major bike-commute route.

Project Timeline:

The necessity to create a sign with this text was decided as early as September 2007.

In November, an existing sign presented itself, discarded in a gutter on Elston Ave.

The sign was stripped of the existing vinyl lettering in February 2008, and new vinyl letters were cut by hand.

The sign would eventually be hung on existing collars on Elston Ave, where it was originally found. This would place it on a major bike-commute route, on the Northwest-bound side of the street (evening commute).

The hanging of the sign was delayed due to a severe Chicago Winter. In late May, bicyclists finally returned to the Elston Ave bike lane.

On April 9th, 2008, a wonderful sunny Spring day, the sign was finally hung.

The status of the sign is being monitored daily. Developments will be posted as they occur.

EDIT: I moved away from Chicago in December 2009; I hope the sign survives.

+ larger

86 vote(s)

Favorite of:



33 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by Ziggy C. on April 9th, 2008 2:28 PM

I only check this site once in a great while, anymore. I check it today, and someone had done one of my tasks! Very well done, too.

We Like Your Completion.

(no subject)
posted by GYØ Ben on April 9th, 2008 3:35 PM

Dax, you are -- just.

There are no words.

"Genius" and "brilliant" come to mind, but they are mere understatements.

(no subject)
posted by .thatskarobot on April 9th, 2008 3:42 PM

We Like Your Completion.

(no subject)
posted by Bex. on April 9th, 2008 3:52 PM

Watch for flying bicyles.

(no subject) +2
posted by Adam on April 9th, 2008 4:03 PM

Here in Great Yarmouth our flying bikes are higher than our flying horses, at least out trains stay in the right place.


Sorry about the picture, seriously cropped.

I keep thinking I should take a photo of these signs but then think I already have one, turns out I dont.

(no subject)
posted by avidd opolis on April 9th, 2008 4:37 PM

bex, that sign looks like it could have come from austria

(no subject)
posted by avidd opolis on April 9th, 2008 4:38 PM

good concept, excellent execution.

(no subject)
posted by Lank on April 9th, 2008 9:05 PM


(no subject)
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 9th, 2008 10:07 PM

Speaking of, I had the opportunity to ride over that S. Damen bridge last week. What a dastardly piece of architecture!

I'm quite impressed that you run that gauntlet every day. At the very least, when the cars eventually get the better of you, the last thing you'll see is that amazing view.

market street, how many times have you nearly taken my life?
posted by Fonne Tayne on April 10th, 2008 12:11 AM

dax... visit market street... and townsend... soon... their gauntlets cry meagerly, 'help' !

(no subject)
posted by The Animus on April 10th, 2008 12:15 AM

Efforts are commended, good sir. What's the distance between this and say, any given checkpoint for the new Journey?
Hm, 2.1 miles between this and the starting point.....

(no subject)
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 10th, 2008 7:09 AM

Quite far from the Journey route.

But come to Tea and Pancakes, and hopefully it will still be there.

(no subject)
posted by zer0gee on April 21st, 2008 10:30 AM

I saw it yesterday! It's extremely official-looking - I can't imagine people look at it and say to themselves, "Hey, do you think that sign actually belongs there?" Because it so obviously DOES belong there.

(no subject)
posted by Celina on April 21st, 2008 3:44 PM

It was great to see this in person!

(no subject)
posted by star5 on April 23rd, 2008 10:25 AM

i saw the sign when i was there! had no idea it was fake or for a task or anything. well done!

(no subject)
posted by Lizard Boy on June 2nd, 2008 4:19 PM

Oh my god... I just saw this task, and I am blown away. Making public changes that *stay* is quite the feat.

(no subject)
posted by teucer on June 2nd, 2008 4:31 PM

I, on the other hand, saw it quite a while ago - but your comment made me see it again and notice that I somehow neglected to cast a much-needed vote.

I have not seen it yet
posted by Waldo Cheerio on July 9th, 2008 9:19 AM

That is incredible. Could you post more information about how to strip and cut new lettering (and affix new lettering) for these signs -- I can't beat you, but I'd love to copy your method!

(no subject)
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on July 13th, 2008 5:10 AM


Sunday, July 13th, 3.30AM:
L.A.T.E. night bike ride '08 cruises by this installation
(sorry, I have no pictures, but I think there are pictures out there!)

Goodbye Sign!
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on December 15th, 2008 7:16 PM

I am now leaving Chicagø. The sign remains intact, eight months and counting, though I will no longer be monitoring it every day.

If you ride past this location sometime in the future, let me know if it has survived!

Any updates?
posted by Rubin Starset on November 4th, 2009 10:41 AM

Is it still around?

(no subject)
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on November 21st, 2009 12:11 PM

You tell me.

(no subject) +6
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on November 29th, 2009 7:49 AM


20 months aloft, not a scratch to show for it.

(no subject) +2
posted by GYØ Ben on November 30th, 2009 12:57 PM

Holy shit, man.

(no subject) +1
posted by rongo rongo on December 5th, 2009 6:58 PM

Wow, that's staying power.

(no subject) +2
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on January 10th, 2010 4:29 PM

This project made page 40 of the Public Art Review!

(no subject)
posted by teucer on January 10th, 2010 7:22 PM


(no subject)
posted by susy derkins on January 11th, 2010 8:29 AM

Hat was already off, so, an extra recognition dance, Dax.

(no subject)
posted by Markov Walker on September 15th, 2010 5:27 PM

I believe I've seen this, or a copycat sign elsewhere. I'll try to make note of it if I see something like this and report the wheres and whens.

(no subject) +3
posted by zer0gee on July 26th, 2012 3:16 PM

Still there as of 7-25-12! :)

(no subject)
posted by zer0gee on October 6th, 2013 11:09 AM

Still there, 10-6-13. I drive past it several times a week. It has a couple of stickers on the lower edge now, but is otherwise as documented.

(no subject) +1
posted by zer0gee on May 29th, 2014 12:01 AM

Still there, 5/24/14. :)

yayayayayay +1
posted by artmouse on September 13th, 2015 4:35 AM