Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Help Me Howard: Stop Sign
When you look out your front window, do you see a nice quiet street? Probably not. Odds are it's busy and you might need a simple thing. A stop sign or maybe a traffic light. But legally, do you have a right to one? It's why one woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Kelly Edge: "I've been here since May and I love it. Love it, love it, love it."
Kelly loved Miami so much she bought a fourplex to rent out near the Marlins Stadium and started fixing it up.
Kelly Edge: "Now I'm a Marlins fan. I see nothing but great things for this area and I wanted to be part of that."
The building has been completely re-done.
Kelly Edge: "I wanted to go a little bold, that's Miami. I think it's fun to add a little bit of pop."
Great on the inside. Nice to stand back and look at on the outside. If it wasn't for something constantly happening in front.
Kelly Edge: "Actual crashes, it wreaks havoc, its loud, it's obnoxious people get upset all the time."
Kelly's property sits on Northwest Fifth Street running from Marlins Stadium to the Miami River. It's a one way street with no stop signs.
Kelly Edge: "What is happening here, is we are the only street that doesn't have a stop sign."
But the people who know the area stop. Fire rescue knows the area, and their trucks stop.
Kelly Edge: "The people who live here stop, so let's give them a stop sign."
The locals stop because the cars coming down the intersecting street don't have cross walks and even though there is a stop sign, many don't stop.
Kelly Edge: "We probably have an actual collision once a week."
Kelly says if they put the stop sign where many cars already stop, it will require everyone coming in all three directions to stop, and if someone runs a stop sign, the other driver will stop so no one will get hurt.
Kelly Edge: "There's elderly people, there are kids, dogs constantly. This is a big walking neighborhood. My biggest fear is that someone's going to get hurt."
Kelly thought it was a simple request to put up a stop sign. It turns out, it's not easy.
Kelly Edge: "So it seems that nobody is quite clear who exactly is in charge of this jurisdiction and the signs. That's basically the problem. I'm going in circles."
So Howard, legally does a taxpayer who sees accidents on a regular basis have the right to insist on a stop sign?
Howard Finkelstein: "Legally, absolutely not. In fact, if the government refuses to put up a stop sign and someone gets hurt or killed, the city or county is not responsible. But what you do have a right to do is pester, bother, contact your elected officials and get them to do the right thing for the right reasons."
Turns out the roads are under the jurisdiction of Miami-Dade County's Public Works. After we contacted them, they quickly painted cross walks to help drivers on 10th Avenue realize there were stop signs there.
The county then started a traffic study by counting the number of cars using the intersection to determine if another stop sign is needed.
Kelly Edge: "See he stops. There is no stop sign there but he stops."
Soon Kelly hopes to get a sign put there, and as she puts it, not only is it necessary, it's easy.
Kelly Edge: "I mean there is already the stand for it and everything. How easy to take one of those red signs and just stick it right there?"
If only it were that simple. If only the government could move that quickly. By the way, we were told it takes about eight weeks to gather the data for the traffic study, so Kelly won't get a stop sign before then. If she even gets it, we will let you know.
Your piece of mind intersected with a pile of problems? Wanna put a stop to it? Traffic it our way. We won't need to do a study. Studying didn't help us in college so we will rely on law books and hard work. With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser 7News.
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