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November 6, 2003

New stop sign meant to aid blind, deaf

From: Marion Chronicle Tribune, IN - Nov 6, 2003

Sign slows traffic on South Adams Street


A new stop sign on the corner of 23rd and Adams streets has some motorists screeching to halt, but that's the idea, residents say.

Erected on Monday, the sign should help those coming and going from the Services for the Visually and Hearing Impaired, which recently relocated from 428 S. Washington St. to the corner of 23rd and Adams streets.

"It's put up there so that our clients won't get mashed," said Executive Director Linda Taylor. "A good 80 percent of our clientele is visually impaired, and it can be quite an ordeal to get across."

Stop signs already are posted on 23rd Street. The new sign on Adams Street, which is one-way, makes the intersection a three-way stop.

"It's going to make it safer for people to cross Adams Street," said city Engineer Pat McCarty. "It's easier to cross at a stop sign."

Taylor said she did not request the new stop sign be installed, but that Mayor Bill Henry saw a need to slow down traffic in the area and contacted McCarty and Police Chief Mike Stevens.

"There are no stops between 30th and 10th streets, and with no stop signs, cars get rolling pretty good through there," Henry said, noting the possibility for an accident. "I darn near run it and I'm the one who put it there. But I don't want anyone killed."

But residents in that area have mixed feelings about the sign.

"I'm afraid that it's going to make it worse," said Roxanne Inman, 2310 S. Adams St. "They got it at the wrong place. They should have it on 18th street."

Terry Wilson, who was visiting with Inman, thinks the sign is good but worries about people obeying it.

"They burn rubber all day out there," he said. "They need something to slow them down coming down that hill."

Joe Delgado, 2217 S. Adams St., said he has heard cars screeching as they try to stop, sometimes leading to near wrecks. He also admits he liked the convenience of driving along Adams street because of the lack of stop signs.

"That's why I used to come down this road, because it wasn't any delay," he said.

Tomicka Harshaw,who is legally blind in one eye, knows it will take time for people to adjust to the sign.

"Everybody's shocked. They're not used to it," said Harshaw, 2315 S. Adams St. "It's a good benefit for the visually impaired people."

While some view the sign as an added nuisance, Taylor sees it as priceless.

"I'm sure it will literally be a lifesaver," she said.

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