How To Get a Stop Sign in Your Neighborhood
Moms’ hands are full enough without trying to give back to the community. Yet being aware of your surroundings is part of trying to raise a child safely. If you’ve noticed an intersection or corner that seems like an accident waiting to happen, learning how to get a stop sign in your neighborhood can be a satisfying way to contribute.
Do Your Homework
Unfortunately, your opinion isn’t enough—it’s best to arm yourself with proof. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there are screeching tires, there are probably traffic reports. Ask around your neighborhood to find out if others have observed incidents or dangerous conditions. You can inquire at the police department about obtaining accident reports and compiling evidence that a stop sign is necessary.
Get Some Backup
Old-fashioned signatures still hold a lot of sway. Now is not a great time to be knocking on people’s doors, but petition websites are just as credible. Government officials should know that you’re not the only constituent interested in better safety measures. As you come across like-minded locals, you can start brainstorming about other signs to install, like speed limit reminders and “Children at Play” warnings. You can also compare notes on the adequacy of street lighting and the markings for intersections.
Involve Your Councilperson
Different states have different processes, but in many cases, your first contact will be your city councilperson. If they’ve earned those votes, they’ll be familiar with the area and may already have plans for improving it. A professional, politely worded email is an appropriate way to start and a good opportunity to add attachments for a petition or any other evidence. After a few days, you can follow up with a phone call. Be clear that you want to help the community as much as they do.
Expect a Wait
Learning how to get a stop sign in your neighborhood is ultimately a lesson in patience. And that’s OK—you’ve done your part in beginning the process, and you can’t know what other priorities local government is juggling. Even if the petition is successful immediately, it will take a while to get it through the red tape. When accidents and injuries are at stake, it’s difficult to trust in the promptness of bureaucracy. Mark your calendar to follow up every few months. If local government bodies deny your suggestion, gather more evidence or wait for the next election to try their successor. In the meantime, look for other ways to bring your neighborhood together and look out for each other’s children.