DIY Traffic Calming
Tower, who lives on the 1700 block of Covington on the city's southwest side, estimates the car that almost hit her in the spring of 2011 was whizzing down the street at much more than the twenty-five mph speed limit. "I had enough," says Tower, her blue eyes flashing. "This is the main route from Scio Church to Dicken School," she says. "We have walkers, bikers, joggers, and kids, all on our curvy, windy street. And kids have a right to play outside!"
So she contacted the city. After repeated calls, she finally heard from senior project manager Pat Cawley, who explained the city's system for handling "traffic calming" requests. Since the first step was filing a petition, Tower collected fifty-six signatures from her neighbors on Covington.
"I turned in my petition, and I never heard back, so I called to find out what happened," she says. "I spoke to 'Kathy,' who said that funds ran out for traffic calming, that there was no money in the budget!"
Fed up with waiting ("No city official ever called me back"), this year Tower took to the street. Every weekday in May and June, she stood guard outside her house when kids were walking to and from school, holding handmade signs saying "25 MPH" and "Better Late Than Sorry." She resumed her station when school started in September--this time wearing a T-shirt her grandkids made that reads, "SPEED LIMIT 25."