- UPDATE (4:31 a.m. Thursday, June 7): Comments by Village Administrator Jerry Ducay on how Frankfort officials decided to try to fix the confusion.
Recently, a new sign was put up in the middle of the cross walk on White Street, across from , right before Kansas Street, reminding motorists that they need to stop and yield the right of way to any crossing pedestrians.
And that's all the sign is: a reminder of what a good driver should already know.
However, some drivers are being—how should I put this?—overly cautious, stopping whether there's someone in the cross walk or not. And this behavior is causing some consternation among village officials.
At Monday's meeting, Village Administrator Jerry Ducay and some of the trustees discussed the problem and expressed concern about the traffic congestion the sign is causing, especially during downtown summer events, such as the . Chief John Burica said he would be having the department's Senior Patrol monitoring the area, making sure drivers were obeying (or would that be over-obeying?) the sign and not making unnecessary stops.
The culprit for this rash of unnecessary stopping, the village officials agreed, is the appearance of an actual stop sign on the yellow signpost. Originally, the village tried to get a sign that told drivers to yield but were denied by state officials because the law is for drivers to actually stop, not yield, to pedestrians, Burica said.
UPDATE (4:31 a.m. Thursday, June 7): In an attempt to fix this confusion, white tape has been placed over the stop sign symbol on the cross walk sign. (Editor's note: If anyone has a photo of the taped-up sign, post it in this article's media gallery.)
"The tape is an effort by our staff to determine the impact of removing the stop sign portion of the sign," Ducay wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. "It seems to be working much better."
If this solution alleviates congestion and confusion, village officials will discuss the possibility of replacing the existing sign with a new one that doesn't have the stop sign symbol, Ducay said.
To be honest, I don't know what to think of this. The cranky curmudgeon in me thinks people should know their rules of the road better and this is just one more example of how cell phones and laptop computers are rotting our brains and why Hollywood can't come up with an original idea, and it's all because of the kids with their loud music and fax machines and why can't they stay off my lawn!
But then the side of me that has a smidge more empathy and has gotten a good night's sleep understands someone making this type of mistake and stopping when he or she isn't required. And let's face it, all it takes is one person to stop and then the seed has been planted in the minds of all the other drivers observing that action. "If he stopped, then I better stop. I don't want a ticket. Or worse, I don't want someone honking at me and yelling strange things about cell phones, Hollywood and loud fax machines in the yard."
So as a review, here's what you should do when you approach the cross walk just before Kansas Street on White:
DO NOT stop your vehicle UNLESS there is a pedestrian in the cross walk.
In fact, maybe someone should put that on a bumper sticker. Or better yet, it could go on .
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is this sign to confusing? Do you stop at that cross walk now because of the sign? Or is this much ado about nothing? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section?