Growing problem in Boone County, Ark.

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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) – The Boone County Highways Department and the City of Harrison are concerned about an increase in traffic sign theft over the past six months.

According to Boone County Highway Sign Maintenance Inspector Cody Whitney, more than 20 signs were replaced countywide in 2022. Crews replaced some locations up to five times.

“Yeah, we get them stolen. It’s weekly,” Whitney said. “This year alone, I’ve probably put up 20 stop signs. If I have to put a pole back with the stop sign and a name on it, you’re probably looking at $50. And in some places it’s probably stolen five times a year.

And over time, it can get really expensive. The added security is excellent. Wasting taxpayers’ money is not. So the county in particular is asking for your help.

“We can’t be everywhere at once to find out which panels are missing,” Whitney said. “If you have someone who lives down the street who needs medical attention and says the signs have been stolen. Well, the ambulance won’t know where to go if the signs aren’t there.

According to a statement from Harrison’s operations manager, Wade Phillips, city crews installed new stop signs Thursday at the following intersections to convert the intersections to “all-way” stop control:

  • Gipson Road. / Rock Springs Road. / Glenview St.
  • W. Sherman Ave./Eugene St.
  • Speer Dr. / Eugene St.

New stop signs will be posted to increase visibility. The speed limit on Speer Drive between W. Sherman Ave. and Burls Way will also be lowered from 30mph to 25mph.

“It means a lot that they’re actually listening,” said Haley Bright, who had three students at Skyline Elementary. “I’m part of the PTA. Last year I just emailed a lot of people to try and spread the word. I actually took a picture with them putting on the speed bumps because I was super excited.

Whitney has walked all of her kids to school, which she says can be a scarier task than you think.

“We were almost hit several times and there was a shipwreck. It was kind of crazy,” she told KY3. “They accelerate, quite badly. It’s a bunch of parents learning to manage their time to get to school and work at 8 o’clock.

The city of Harrison says it is still working to increase safety.

“As traffic patterns change over time and development increases traffic volumes, we need to adapt our approaches to road safety, especially around schools, parks and other areas where pedestrian travel increases. “Harrison City Engineer Wade Phillips said in a statement Thursday. “As we are able to assess the benefits of these changes, we will look to implement similar traffic calming measures in other areas as well.”

After adding a new splash pad, the City of Harrison also recently installed speed bumps at the crosswalk on Lakeshore Drive near Lake Harrison Park. The city says this is due to increased foot traffic and to avoid any possible spectator accidents.

If you witness traffic sign theft, you are urged to contact the county courthouse or local law enforcement.

To report a correction or typo, please email [email protected]

Copyright 2022 KY3. All rights reserved.


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