Stop signs to smile about

What’s the harm in having a little light-heartedness in traffic control? The small suburb of Oak Lawn in Chicago is tired of people not stopping at Stop signs and the Mayor, Dave Heilmann, has come up with a way to make them more noticeable. “I thought it might make people smile,” he said. Mayor Dave has written over a dozen additions to be added underneath the traditional red octagon. The addition is a second red octagon featuring cheesy continuations of the STOP theme. Some of Dave’s thigh-slapping classics are:

BILLION DOLLAR FINE

AND SMELL THE ROSES

OR THE POLICE WILL YELL AT YOU

and apparently Dave’s personal favourite:

IN THE NAAME OF LOVE

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Dave Heilmann beside his favourite stop sign (photo: Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)

Apparently forty or fifty of these signs are going to go up, mainly around schools, costing a few thousand dollars. Mayor Dave says that if they’re successful more could follow. According to the Daily Southern newspaper:

A Broadway musical enthusiast and one of the founders of the Oak Lawn Park District’s theater program, Heilmann is well-known around town as a performer who likes to get a laugh. He’s played Cosmo Brown in “Singin’ in the Rain” and Billy Flynn in “Chicago.” After graduating from law school, he moonlighted as a member of the improv group Comedy Sportz.

“Maybe if you get a smile out of (drivers), it’ll slow them down,” he said Friday. “I think government tends to take itself too seriously.”

Not a bad approach, really. I don’t know that it’ll really make people stop though. I imagine that if you drive around ignoring signs while you talk on your mobile phone and think about what you’re going to have for dinner, then a second amusing sign underneath the sign you already haven’t seen is fairly irrelevant. But I like the concept. This would have to be my personal favourite:

stoprighttherepilgrim.jpg
(photo from Village of Oak Lawn)

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