New sign in Hobart knocked down twice over last few days
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent January 1, 2014 11:02PM
The sign facing east on the recently installed median by Festival Park in Hobart was knocked down twice in the last few days, either by drivers or vandals. | Karen Caffarini/For Sun-Times Media
HOBART — A sign on the recently installed median strip by Festival Park has been knocked down twice in recent days, leading the city engineer to believe some drivers haven’t learned to slow down in that area yet.
City Engineer Phillip Gralik said Tuesday the sign was knocked down just before the weekend and again during the weekend. In both instances he believes the sign was knocked down by drivers going westbound on Old Ridge Road.
“Those drivers are generally going faster and coming around the curve. It appears they haven’t learned to slow down yet, which is the purpose of the median,” Gralik said.
“Someone doing the speed limit shouldn’t have a problem,” he said.
Gralik said no one reported an accident to police in either incident so neither he nor the police know what happened.
“It was probably someone who didn’t want police involved,” he said.
He said it could have been an impaired driver or even a vandal.
Resident Larry Brown had appeared before the City Council twice to warn that the pointed configuration of the median could cause an accident. The first time Gralik and other city officials agreed and workers modified the points on either end. The second time they told Brown they felt the median was safe.
Gralik said there are no signs that the driver in either incident went over the curb or off the road.
Gralik said the public works department put orange cones on the median and attached the sign to one and he is looking at installing a warning sign at the end of the guardrail telling drivers they need to slow down.
“Part of it is an adjustment period. It takes time for drivers to realize the median is there. In the end it will be a much safer area for pedestrians,” he said.
City officials installed the sign for the safety of pedestrians crossing from the parking area at the rugby field across from Festival Park, especially during events such as the Christmas Tree lighting and Lakefront Festival, which draw large numbers of visitors.