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Parents, Return the Sign

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Parents, Return the Sign

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
July 10, 2008


Somewhere in Woodstock, a kid has a No Parking Here to Corner sign in his bedroom. OK, parents, your mission is, should you choose to accept it, to find the sign, take it off your kid's wall and march him (her?) down to the police station and turn it, and him, in.

Each Sunday I drive a senior citizen to St. Mary's Catholic Church and back to her residence in Woodstock. About two years ago I noticed that churchgoers were parking between the No Parking Here to Corner sign on Lincoln Avenue west of the front driveway exit at the church and the corner. This parking created a hazard for drivers leaving the church.

It tooks months of requests, but finally the PD starting writing some tickets there and the problem cleared up.

Recently I noticed that the No Parking Here to Corner sign had been moved to the small area between Tryon St. and the driveway exit. Being a curious person and not having seen any City Council action to relocate it, I wrote to Public Works. It seems like I have created a lot of work for somebody to find out.

So today I just called St. Mary's church office. I quickly learned that the original sign had been stolen, and about two weeks ago the City installed the new sign - in the wrong location.

Habit is hard to change, and the church office employee told me an officer had been writing tickets to cars parked just west of the church exit, until somebody ran out to tell him there was no sign there.

The first two car lengths of parking space just west of the driveway are important to drivers who are leaving the church drive. When this space is not blocked, drivers can see eastbound cars on Lincoln and also turn out onto Lincoln without crossing into the oncoming lane.

Somewhere at Public Works or the Streets Department somebody had to write a work order for the new sign. Wouldn't you think that person would first check to see exactly what sign was needed and just where it was to be placed? The City Council controls parking restrictions on City streets, and there must be a written record for the type and location of the sign.

So, back to the top of the article. Parents, when you see official street signs in the bedrooms of your kids, look at the ID label on the back of the sign and see where it came from. Then turn it in. While you're at it, turn in your thief of a kid.

And if YOU are the thief? At least, return the sign. If you are really brave, 'fess up and turn yourself in.

© 2008 GUS PHILPOTT



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