CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Four new stop signs are coming to two intersections after one neighborhood demanded change.
But they wish it came before two more cars collided, hurting at least two people. It happened at the corner of Green Street and McKinley Avenue on Tuesday night. Now they’re hoping other communities follow their direction.
Neighbors said Tuesday’s crash marks the fourth since June. It knocked out the last remaining streetlight at that intersection. So, they’re hoping the stop signs come sooner than expected.
“It looked bad, you know, coming out at 11:00 at night and seeing kind of the carnage of what happened,” said John Easley, Head of the Neighborhood Committee.
That’s why he’s spearheading a committee to stop crashes like this from happening in his neighborhood, and hopefully others.
“I mean, walking, you’re fine. You could see things coming. It’s really the drivers. Whoever was coming this way ignored the stop sign and that’s where the issue was,” said Michael Hernandez, a neighbor in the area.
The intersection of McKinley Avenue and Green Street has become synonymous with the word “crash” for Easley, and it didn’t just start this year.
“In the last five years, [there have been] eight accidents here at McKinley and Green. And down at Russell and Green, there were ten accidents in the last five years,” Easley said.
He’s using the data as glue to bring his community together.
“We formed a neighborhood watch group that started: Neighborhood Watch. And then we had another group that wanted to work with Public Works,” Easley said.
After the three crashes over the summer, they went to the city to demand more stop signs in their area. They said it was a request the city had no issues filling.
“We had our first meeting with Public Works, and they came actually on-site here and went out to the intersection,” said Easley.
Then he discovered he wasn’t alone in the mission to make his neighborhood safer. Others in Champaign want to stop speeding in their own communities. Easley hopes to light the way.
“You know, we don’t want to just fix our area. We’ve got speeding all over town and we’d like to learn things here and then try to apply them throughout,” said Easley.
The stop signs at the intersection of Green Street & McKinley Avenue, and Green Street & Russell Street are expected to be installed before the end of the year.