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Officials hope stop signs help prevent accidents

Car crashes and accidents have always been a part of rushing to class at TJC, but new signs may change that. There is a new all-way stop in front of the Ornelas Residential Hall and the practice field, along with a no left turn sign to prevent accidents between students turning onto Fifth Street from Baxter Street.”We’re trying to do anything we can to prevent collisions. We’ve been looking for ways to make students safe,” said Fred Peters, director of Marketing and Public Information.The decision to put up the new signs was due in part to having more students than ever on campus. Although, it has always been an issue just to make it across the street safely. TJC has worked with the City of Tyler to add the traffic signs on Palmer Street and the no left turns on Fifth Street and Baxter Street over the holidays.”There are too many collisions on Fifth Street, and tickets are getting too expensive for students to pay for,” said Peters.With these new changes there is a hope to slow traffic down north and south on Baxter Street and Palmer Street and prevent collisions with no left turns on Fifth Street. Although the traffic devices are fairly new, there is certainly a difference. Even with the complaints good or bad; people definitely notice them.In case a traffic violation was to happen, the city is allowed to write citations. There have already been a handful written along with complaints. For running a stop sign, tickets can cost from $300-$500.”Reducing accidents and making it all a right turn is safer than crossing multiple lanes of dangerous traffic,” said Don Martin, Tyler Police Department public information officer.In 2009, there was an estimated five accidents on Fifth Street and Baxter alone, although none were reported to have injuries, according to Tyler Police Department.Students such as Adrienne Giles first noticed the new traffic signs the first week of school.”It’s a good idea. I always said they need an all-way stop, because it’s very unsafe for drivers and pedestrians,” said Giles, a sophomore at TJC.Although Giles has yet to run a stop sign, she admits that they are easy to forget about. She also believes that safety is important for everybody.In the near future, TJC is planning to team up with The Douglas Group, which helps colleges, cities and businesses route traffic and plan for it in a responsible manner. TJC is looking to add a signal on the streets, such as lit up crosswalks that alerts motorists when pedestrians are ready to cross. They also hope to work with the City of Tyler to get this task done and assist in funding. The new crosswalk will be added at Baxter Street and Palmer Street, and is still waiting for a cost estimate.

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