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‘Fork in the Road’ Is Gone, But Nationwide Fame is Still Being Served Up

The retiree who created it was disappointed to see it removed by the city after only 24 hours.

Someone at Carlsbad City Hall took Yogi Berra’s advice literally: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” But the city lacked the baseball sage’s sense of humor.

Twenty-four hours after it was planted, gaining national fame, a 6-foot-high fork on the island between Levante Street and Anillo Way was removed.

It took 14 planks of wood, glue, chrome-colored spray paint and several months of work for a longtime Carlsbad resident to create the fork he’s had in his mind for 30 years.

The fork went up Tuesday morning, created by a retiree who asked to remain anonymous.

“Shortly after buying my home, whenever I’d give friends directions to my house, I’d tell them to turn right at fork in the road,” the retiree told Patch. “Then in late 70’s The Muppet Movie came out and they had a giant fork stuck in the road. I wanted to do it ever since. This year I retired as high school math and physics teacher and I had time to do construction."

“Every response I saw and heard about was positive; people got a big kick out of it. Everyone was disappointed when the city tore it down 24 hours later—at least a few people got to enjoy it and take some photos.”

Carlsbad resident Jim Grant was one of those people who saw the fork and snapped a picture of it. He posted it on CNN iReport, and it later gained local and national media attention.

According to iReport, city officials released the following statement, “Although the fork in the road remains, the literal fork was removed this morning. We appreciate the creativity, but it’s not legal or safe to put objects like this on public streets or medians.”

The creator said he “had no idea it would get so much attention” but will now focus his time on other hobbies like continuing to volunteer in the community. 

Deanne Goodman (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Just added a new photo from Jim Grant who told me in an email this morning, "Public defiance is mounting ...people are attaching plastic forks to the sign closest to the fork in the road."
glenn bernard October 19, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Take a look at the grotesque pieces of "public art" implanted at the City Library on C-Village Drive. How much did the city spend on those? The fork man charged nothing! Also, why is that median so bare and stark? Take a look at all of the beautiful round-abouts in the Carlsbad community known as Bressi Ranch. Bullies are in charge of Carlsbad City Hall.
Tapple October 19, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Guerrilla art, love it - every community should be so lucky! But maybe there is a deeper message here; could the artist be making a statement about this particular blighted neighborhood traffic medium? And wouldn't it be nice if the asphalt was excavated and a native plant environment took root here? Something requiring low maintenance and water but at the same time visually improving one of the main entrance arteries of La Cost. Are there any guerrilla landscapers or neighborhood volunteers willing to give this area a makeover?
Pam Whisnant October 19, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I, personally, love the humorous slant. What a shame there's so much bureaucratic BS to ruin the fun! IMO, there is way more danger on the roads from people texting and looking at GPSs, tourists, people with road rage, etc.!
CARRIE S. October 21, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Red tape sucks!!!
CARRIE S. October 21, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I like the art. pretty forkin funny!! I have a friend that lived there so I get it about directions and needing a fork there! Carlsbad is weird sometimes. I miss the people statues over here in Aviara.
Clevit October 22, 2012 at 01:13 PM
First decent bit of Public art I've seen in San Diego County since the surfing Madonna, and that was only worthwhile due to its geurilla installation. "Unconditional Surrender?" ""Magic Carpet Ride?" "encinitas Child?" Just Horrendous. Worst of all? "Cancer.. there's hope," a malignant bit of grade school-level art that is spreading across the nation like stage 4 melanoma. San Diego needs a good public forking, for art's sake.
Chuck Carroll October 29, 2012 at 04:39 PM
The fork was put on display at the Halloween on Elm festival in downtown Carlsbad on October 27. Meanwhile, folks in the neighborhood continue to put up signs where the fork used to be and the City of Carlsbad continue to remove them.
Tapple October 31, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Bring back the fork!
Tapple November 02, 2012 at 01:21 PM
How about it La Costa, wouldn't it be nice to landscape this traffic medium? It only needs some low maintenance plants and then the City Arts Commission can place a piece of art here, I vote for the fork. Contact the City and ask for landscaping!
Chuck Carroll November 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM
The Cultural Arts Office has been formally notified with a proposal the fork be donated to the city as a gift. They in turn will present this information to the Collections Advisory Committee. After they review this information, the Collections Advisory Committee will make its recommendation including the site location to the Carlsbad Arts Commission. The Arts Commission will then solicit comments from the public. If they decide to move forward, the Arts Commission will write an agenda bill for the Carlsbad City Council decide on.
Chuck Carroll December 14, 2012 at 06:59 PM
There will be a Collections Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, Dec 18, at 10 am in the Cultural Arts Office, 2955 Elmwood St. At this meeting, the fate of the fork will be discussed. The meeting is open to the public.
Chuck Carroll January 18, 2013 at 01:36 AM
The Carlsbad Arts Commission approved the Collections Advisory Committee's recommendation not to accept my donation offer at their meeting on Jan. 3, 2013. The December 18 meeting was covered by a local news station. http://www.cbs8.com/story/20377834/decision-on-carlsbad-fork-in-the-road-set-for-january Shortly after the December 18 meeting I heard from the President and CEO of Meals on Wheels. She has been following the story and told she would love to be the recipient of "The Fork". If you are not familiar with this organization, here is their website: http://www.meals-on-wheels.org/ The fork will be formally presented to Meals on Wheels at their board meeting at noon on Tuesday, January 22 in their administration building. 1st floor meeting room 2254 San Diego Ave San Diego, CA 92110 It looks like this story may have a happy ending after all.
Tapple January 18, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Thanks again Chuck for giving the whole community cause to smile! :) I drive by this traffic medium everyday with a faint hope that someone else will strive to inspire us. And I still hold at hope the City will see fit to landscape this blighted traffic medium. Just a few low maintenance plants and then the City Arts Commission can place a piece of art here; I vote for a steel replica of the 'original fork' by creator Chuck Carroll. Contact the City and ask for landscaping!

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