Signs, signs, everywhere signs. That’s what went through my head when I drove through the intersection at Sparta Highway and Rock Island Road. While some are spouting this as the best thing since sliced bread, I feel it’s visually ridiculous and probably won’t work.
When I come upon this intersection, the signs are a distraction. I haven’t counted but I’m sure there are a dozen of them. If the abundance of additional signs isn’t distraction enough, there are oversized signs letting traffic on Sparta Highway know they are coming upon an intersection and oversized stop signs letting traffic coming from Rock Island Road know they need to stop at Sparta Highway and if they are crossing through to the other side, there is an additional oversized stop sign at the middle of the intersection.
I guess only time will tell if the eye-catching chaos and flashing lights will be enough to reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents.
What you don’t have to wait on is if those oversized stop signs will encourage people to actually stop at the intersection and use care before crossing or merging onto the highway. Those signs were placed Wednesday morning. A few hours after, I was there taking pictures. I was there about five minutes. In that short amount of time, a truck pulled up to the intersection from Rock Island Road and sailed right passed the huge, eye-catching stop sign and kept going. I’m sure he “looked,” but he didn’t stop. That’s the real problem at the intersection.
I wish it were in the state’s plans to reduce the speed limit. However, it is not. They do plan to place flashing lights, another visual nuisance that some people (like the guy in the truck) will probably ignore.
Obviously, the signs will not curb everyone’s bad driving habits. Because of that, it’s self-preservation time. I will continue to slow down to 50 or 55 mph as I go through that intersection and encourage others to do the same. If someone pulls out in front of me or you, at least a reduced speed might prevent death.
Brief update on my tomato plants, aka my victims:
They are growing like crazy. I’ve begun to wonder if those people sold me weeds. Only weeds grow this fast. They started out between three and four inches tall and now they are nearing three feet tall. Just for kicks, I watered them and walked away. After getting a few feet away, I stopped and swiftly looked back to see if they had grown in the time it took me to get to the doorway of my house. It was slightly humorous. Maybe that’s it. Maybe my plants like humor. It’s that or the miracle grow.
Next year, I want to try peppers. I love peppers. The crazy garden frenzy is creeping in. Thank you, Carolyn. You enjoy the crazy garden frenzy and you’re dragging me into it. That’s what friends are for, right?
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.