“Welcome to Lincolnwood: The secret piece of land between Evanston, Skokie, and Chicago. A suburb of Skokie, if you will.”
That’s what I’m thinking every time I enter my hometown, Lincolnwood, and see the real sign which simply says “Lincolnwood: 12,400.”
I always loved the sign’s bravery. “We’re small but mighty,” the sign said.
But recently, the sign has changed. Lincolnwood is no longer at 12,400, but now at 12,590. It appears that since the last census, the tiny village of Lincolnwood has grown by 1.5 percent.
“We’re small and mighty,” these new signs say, “but we’re growing!”
Do most cities change their signs after a slight population change? Will we see signs next week that say “Lincolnwood: 12,592 (and mazel tov to the Cohen family on the birth of their twins)”? And the following week: “Lincolnwood: 12,591 (our condolences on the loss of Mrs. Johnson)”? Our signmakers must be very busy roaming the streets looking for blue or pink balloons, jumping on any slight population change.
According to a report on the Village of Lincolnwood’s website, the population after the 2000 census was 12,359 – but yet the signs rounded the number to 12,400. Why would a population of 12,590 not get rounded to 12,600?
I think the Village of Lincolnwood is trying to send a message other than “If you’re looking for Rogers Park, you’re almost there” or “Can we interest you in our large Town Center mall?” They’re saying that every resident of Lincolnwood counts.
If the village really wants to make everyone count, I think that in 10 years, they should shift away from the static signs. Why not go to a changeable message sign like many gas stations have?
“Today’s population in Lincolnwood is 12,615” – aww, what a nice, charming little village!
“Today’s population in Lincolnwood is 12,683” – maybe I’ll travel through Skokie to avoid the traffic.