|Safety measures called for at Post Office
More than 1,100 sign petition asking city to make crossing safer
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
Jan. 31, 2006 -- A vehicle-pedestrian accident in front of the Sulphur Springs Post Office in November has prompted a petition that asks the city to install flashing lights or some other kind of caution device to protect people walking across Church Street.
Anne Crow, who was seriously injured in the accident, is still confined to a wheelchair and said Tuesday morning she will never regain full use of her arm and may walk with a limp for the rest of her life.
The petition drive to stress problems and dangers at the crosswalk in front of the Post Office was started by a friend, Elizabeth McGraw, who wants something done to slow traffic and offer a degree of safety for pedestrians at the location.
The petition was presented to City Manager Marc Maxwell Tuesday morning by McGraw and Crow.
"I took it upon myself, because of my good friend Anne Crow, the lady that was hit, to do petitions to help with this project," McGraw said. "So, I am turning over to you petitions signed by 1,105 people that feel the same way I do. We need something done so it won't happen again to somebody."
From her wheelchair, Crow said taking some kind of action could prevent a more serious accident from happening.
"I will appreciate anything you can do that will create something better, some kind of crossing that will be better," Crow said. "A child could dart out from behind a car, or a person that is a lot slower than I was [could be hit] and it could fatal. I will be disabled for a lot of months to come, and the doctor tells me I will never be back to square one like I should. I don't want that to happen to anyone else."
The city manager, visibly moved by Crow's comments, said the petition would help in making the crosswalk safer.
"I think this is an opportunity to do something, and we have at least 1,105 people that agree," Maxwell said. "This really helps when it comes to making budgetary decisions, and I think this will make it a whole lot easier."
The city manager said a state grant may become available that would make the project much easier. He also said when the council gets into budget discussions this summer, they will be finding some way to work the crosswalk safety into next year's budget.
"Texas Department of Transportation has a grant program addressing things just like this," Maxwell said. "I think we will see if we cannot get some of that funding."
Other crosswalks on Church Street and around the courthouse are sometimes overlooked by drivers. The city manger said there may already be plans in place that could help relieve the problem.
"Interestingly enough, the council has just adopted the downtown master plan, and it addresses pedestrian safety as a concern in downtown," he said. "I think this will become part of a broader pedestrian safety plan, but we will start here."