Over the last several months a team called, Make our Neighborhood Safe, was created. Their goal was to get a three way stop put in at an intersection in town. Tragically Sophie Stultz a precious, sweet girl was killed when she was out riding her bike with a friend. She was hit by a car and her parents wanted to make sure if another accident could be prevented by the placing of stop signs, then they needed to be put up.
I live a few blocks from were this accident occurred. Every day we drove by the spray painted lines and were constantly reminded of the sad event that happened that day. While I would never want something like this to happen to anyone, I honestly did not know if stop signs were the answer. Would they make enough of a difference to cause a mental shift in everyone’s brain to slow down and be more cautious?
It is an odd intersection as is pretty much all of the intersections on this side of town. The kind of intersections that make you wonder why they created them the way they did. I’m sure they had good reasons at the time, but now many generations later, they’re a mystery.
The three way stop signs were put up yesterday and this afternoon was my first time stopping, pausing and becoming aware. To be honest, I like them. I not only like them, I love them! They are not awkward, they are not out of place and they do not keep me from getting to my destination any slower.
What I did notice about myself was I was more aware. Not only at the three way stop, but throughout the entire length of the road. I drove with more care, I drove with more thought to pay attention to my surroundings. Honestly, I think they are put in at a strategic place along the road.
Without the stop signs it is easy, without knowing it, to get into a zone and forget you are in a neighborhood with kids. The stretch of road does not always feel like a neighborhood and it is easy to get focused on the next task and zip along. The stop signs reminded me to keep focus, to slow down and it reminded me to make sure I am managing my time wisely. Being late for anything is never an excuse to not pay attention, speed and to potentially cause an accident. An accident that could change the course of someone’s life forever.
Thank you Jason and Sarah Stultz for leading the way on this crusade. Thank you for using your painful experience in a positive way to impact those around you. We continue to pray for your family and wish we could do more to take away your pain.
When the city council meetings come around in six months and it’s time to talk about the three way stop, sign me up and count me stand with you. The stop signs need to stay and make us all remember to slow down and save a life.
What a great thing to come from an unfortunate accident. May the stop signs not only bring safety for the community, but peace and remembrance to the family and neighborhood.
Val, they have been a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I am hoping after the six month trial, the city council will decide to leave them in place.