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Bayside gets creative to promote pedestrian safety

Posted at 5:44 AM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 08:10:03-04

BAYSIDE — You'll soon see new, colorful safety signs encouraging drivers to slow down on busy stretches of roadway in the Village of Bayside.

It's the second time the village has called on local students to submit entries for its emotionally intelligent sign contest.

The last round of the contest, in 2011, produced custom signs that are still displayed in the village today. But they'll soon be replaced by 12 new signs, chosen from 209 recent entries.

Village Manager Andy Pederson said neighbors voted electronically on which signs were their favorites.

"We had almost 20,000 votes, and more than 5,000 comments. We were pleasantly surprised," Pederson said.

Some of the messages on the newly-designed signs read: "Slow and steady wins the race," "Put the phone aside and keep us alive," and "People are walking, are you stopping."

The signs will soon be posted on busy stretches of roadway where neighbors have previously complained of speeding - like on Ellsworth Ln. near Bayside Middle School and on Brown Deer Rd. near the firehouse.

Pederson said that, while those areas already contain signs with posted speed limits and/or warnings about pedestrians, the student-designed signs with emotional appeal are an additional tool to convince drivers to watch their speeds.

"We're not saying you shouldn't put up regulatory signs. We're just trying to supplement that," Pederson said. "Because how many times do you drive by a regulatory sign and not even notice?"

"This is about trying to really educate people," he added.

One of the winning signs, which reads "Save the turtles and the slow walking pedestrians," was designed by 13-year old Greta Carlson.

"I wanted it to be colorful and really pop out when drivers are passing by," she said of the sign, which is a bright green color.

She estimated the sign took her 90 minutes to create.

"We're super proud," said Greta's mother, Bridget Carlson.