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Paradise neighbors want stop signs, speed bumps to slow cars on ‘Thrill Hill’

October 22nd, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Seili Lewis
PARADISE–This week the Town Council addressed the usual bills, reports from the fire department, a report on road conditions by Margaret Obray, and a report on the city’s water by Leland Howlett and Dale Anderson. Also on the docket was a neighborhood concerned about “Thrill Hill” and irresponsible drivers. The neighbors are concerned for the safety of their children, so they are petitioning the town council for a stop sign or two.

The road along the intersection of 9200 South and 200 West southbound has recently been under construction. The road was finally getting some much needed repairs; now that the road has been graded and the potholes filled in. Drivers have been getting a little bolder and driving faster than they already were, the neighbors said.

At the intersection there is a rather steep hill that heads southbound into the neighborhood. The hill is called Thrill Hill by locals, they said, and high school students as well as adult drivers find it entertaining to take the hill at high speeds. The hill creates a blind spot for the southbound traveler, many children live in the area and farmers often drive their equipment from blind drives out onto the street and the speeding drivers wouldn’t have time to stop.

Back when the road was full of potholes the traffic issue was better, said Mayor Leroy Atwood. The potholes slowed people down. He said since they’ve fixed the road people have been asking for a speed bump or a dip or something to slow people down.

Bob Jones and several of his neighbors drafted a petition and passed it around to all the neighbors, stating the concerns of parents and farmers in the neighborhood and their formal request for a stop sign. The council’s concern is that even if they put in a stop sign there wouldn’t be much incentive for people to stop.

Leland Howlett said if they put a in a stop sign the town council would have to ask the county sheriff to come and write tickets “until everyone’s got one.”

The town council will take the request into consideration; they will have to bring in traffic specialists who will take polls and gather data to support the need for a stop sign. Previous considerations by the council to fix the problem of Thrill Hill were to lower the hill or to make the grade more gradual.

The citizens also raised a concern about the liability of an accident. If an accident did happen would the city bear any legal responsibility now that the issue has been brought up?  “If you’re the captain of the rocket ship,” Atwood said, the responsibility would be largely yours. Until the council makes a decision about the proposal to get a stop sign or two installed, the neighborhood will need to continue their cautious daily activity to keep their families safe.

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