2021 – The Great TRAFFIC CONEundrum


                                (ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on July 15, 2021)


If you told me last week that I’d now be posting/punning about traffic cones/pylons, I’d have made you an appointment with the men and women in white coats.

Oh, yeah – BIG controversy. What do YOU call them – traffic cones? pylons?

Me? Traffic cones. To me, a pylon was always part of an airplane’s wing. In Georgia (or at least parts of it), it’s pylon.

Maybe this explains it better:


When that last comment mentions that he “got into Pylon” when he was 14, he was referring to a band named Pylon – a band I’ve mentioned on this blog a couple of times, mostly here: https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=11749


And look what’s on the cover of their box set:

(Shameless plug: I wound up with the cover of the included 200-page hardcover book.)


As a result of all that, I’ve become internet-friendly with Vanessa Briscoe Hay, the band’s vocalist, who’s on the blog mailing list.

A photo I took on the 4th of July that was in a recent post about local fireworks caught her attention because a bottle rocket was shot from a traffic cone that I dubbed “Cape Cone-averal” (“Cape Pylonaveral” just didn’t work):


She asked me if she could post it in her photo file on Facebook. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/1118402520/posts/10224357765627924/?d=n

Since I’m not on FB, she was kind enough to send me a screen shot of the usage, which included other images of cones/pylons sent in by her Facebook friends:

That got me thinking that I’ve probably taken a few cone/pylon pix over the years – especially with all the construction/destruction projects I’ve shot that wound up on the Hackensack city historian’s site that I moderate (http://www.hackensacknow.org/), but I’ve never actively collected them – you know, intentionally kept them together in a folder.

If I was that big a cone collector, I’d have hung out in Fort Lee, NJ, during Bridgegate:


But I’m not, so heavy-duty research was in order. I spent two days going through every photo folder I created in the past 10 or 11 years. Fortunately, traffic cones are easy to spot quickly and the 6 or 7 I thought I’d find grew into 100! Semi-fortunately for you, I’ve whittled that down to 60.

I didn’t want to overwhelm Vanessa with something that I couldn’t view, so I’m making a post about a subject I never thought I’d post about: traffic cones/pylons.

Vanessa – the inspiration for this post – can show the post link for this remote contribution on her FB page and everyone’s (hopefully) happy.

The pictures range from the years 2014 to 2021 and will be shown by year. And – with two exceptions – they were all taken in Hackconesack. I’ve also added comments where appropriate.


Here we go………….



This might be the most unusual one in the whole lot. Besides 8 cones in the background, 2 more are reflected in the base – on which a sculpture of Martin Luther King, Jr., is about to be attached at Fairleigh Dickinson University – Hackensack:


7 floors down from my living room:


This was an odd one. I’m in my car stopped at a light and I see this woman across the street wearing this tall, patriotic-looking hat. It’s the morning after the 4th of July, so maybe she’s on her way home after a long night of partying. As soon as she cleared the cone, I had my shot – just before the light turned green:



From my living room:



The back of my building, where people throw out strange things:



Looks like the little girl failed her Parallel Parking With A Stroller test when she knocked a cone over:


“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” to insure your car or your cone:


This was taken from my roof looking straight down 7 floors to the street:



I never saw so many cones used to protect a few feet of painted curb:


I’m sorry, but is there ANY thought that comes to mind when you look at this picture other than lighting farts?


This looks a little less dangerous:



This was taken on the pedestrian bridge across the Hackensack River between the Teaneck and Hackensack campuses of Fairleigh Dickinson University:


Dunno what these are, but they’ve got Grade A pylon protection:


I saw this in front of the Hackensack YMCA and went into immediate shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later mode. Never did get an answer:


Strange cone alignment that doesn’t seem to do much:


Had to shoot fast with a large vehicle coming at me and blocking more cones the closer it got. Strange-looking wave in the middle of the road, but the bonus for me (and all you locals) was the red sign just below the traffic light, “White Manna Hamburgers” – a super-famous burger joint that’s about 3 blocks from where I live and was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9RRsUbDV0U&t=176s

I had to shoot this before the white truck that just got the green light got closer and blocked the sign (see how many calculations go into “just taking a picture”?)


Buried alive (almost):


Main St, Hackensack:


No idea what these 3 are guarding:


Because this guy steals cones…………

……….you gotta nail’em to the street:


This was located at the 389 Main project, which is across the parking lot from me:


Cone abuse:


I don’t think I wanna know where these cones are supposed to go (or where they’ve been):



I shot this from one of my bedrooms during a power outage. The traffic light’s not working and some drivers aren’t functioning well either (poor baby cone):


At the 389 Main project from my living room:


The cone seems a bit out of place here:


No idea what’s going on here………..it just looked unusual:


Why are we importing cones from a city that’s 30 miles away?


Dead cones – don’t let small children look at the second one (it’s gruesome):


Cone protects a surveyor at the 389 Main project:


Traffic island removal near 389 Main:


Traffic island removal from the 389 Main roof:


From atop 389 Main…….showing Main St just south of that location:


Mercer St:


Anderson St, looking east:


What better way is there for a cone to depict the horrible year of 2020 than this shot? Had it contracted COneVID-19? And I did NOT set this shot up………..it was found this way:



This is the year when it was decided that the old parking lot with meters outside my LR window would be transformed into…………..a new parking lot without them.

These 3 pylon pix were taken in May, June and July:


Recently, I saw this elderly woman wandering around the parking lot – which has not opened yet – and she seemed lost. She found the one central machine where everyone supposedly will be paying to park and appeared to be trying to do something on the keyboard (as the pylon silently watched). Nothing’s hooked up yet and there are no lights or sounds coming from the machine. Maybe she thought it was an ATM……….or a phone so she could call for directions out of the lot.

She eventually found her way out – but not her way, as she was stopping and looking in every direction before she went out of sight. I hope she’s OK.


This one seems to be caught on the new fence between the parking lot and my building:


Garbage on Main St:


Here’s one of the two exceptions to the all-Hackensack locations: RAIN next door in Teaneck. What’s RAIN? Look here: https://www.rainonwaterevents.com/


I think this one had something to do with 389 Main:


Second cone is in door reflection. I hear the Riv has opened once again. Go have a beer with the dancers, but read the Yelp reviews first – pretty funny (and pretty scary):


Are these guys contemplating hitting the Riv?


And we end the regular pictures patriotically last Valentine’s Day in Teaneck (the other non-Hackensack pic):


For the grand finale, I present two large photo stitches taken in 2019. The first one covers an entire block and shows a concrete pumper with a very long reach that is being fed by a concrete mixer truck. In the middle is the dome of Holy Trinity Church, where I was baptized. On the far right is Sears, which closed last year. Along the bottom are 7 cones. CLICK TWICE ON BOTH STITCHES TO FULLY-ENLARGE AND START LATERAL SCROLLING (not much to scroll). Hit your return button to get back:


Let’s finish with a photo stitch of an odd scene I found one day on Main St. Obviously, an accident had occurred there, but it was just laid out so neatly. You’d think the driver would have taken the bumper………or at least the license plate:



So, THANKS A LOT, Vanessa. I’m now probably gonna feel like I have to take pictures every time a see a cone/pylon…….(OR – as no one calls it – a cone-lon?)




                                     WHAT DID I TELL YOU!!!


12 hours before I made this post, I saw this parked next to my building!


Make that “61” now (I feel like Roger Maris).



Uh, sorry Roger……….I just hit #62 from my living room window – 8 hours before I post this. Barry Bonds is starting to get nervous………..



Post time: Your record’s safe, Barry.


Everyone else: name your next child Beldar.  







  1. Vanessa Briscoe Hay July 26, 2021

    This post is amazing!
    I will treasure it and all the photos and add to my page.
    People have sent me more than 900 photos of Pylons for me to share on social media, but these pix take the cake!
    Thanks so much.

  2. Terri August 31, 2021

    That was a fun read!

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