SIGN THEFTS: Growing issue in Boone County, Ark.

The Boone County road department says it has replaced approximately 20 stop signs this year.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:26 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:34 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - The Boone County Road Department and the city of Harrison are concerned about increasing road sign theft over the last six months.

According to Boone County road sign maintenance inspector Cody Whitney, more than 20 signs have been replaced across the county in 2022. Crews have replaced some locations as many as five times.

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

And over time, that can really become costly. Added safety is great. Wasting taxpayer dollars is not. So the county especially is asking for your help.

“We can’t be everywhere at once to know what signs are missing,” said Whitney. “If you have somebody that lives down the road that needs medical attention and says the signs stolen. Well, the ambulance isn’t going to know where to go if the signs are not there.”

According to a statement by Harrison Chief Operations Officer Wade Phillips, city crews installed new stop signs Thursday at the following intersections to convert the intersections to “all-way” stop control:

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

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

“It means a lot that they actually listen,” said Haley Bright, who has had three students attend Skyline Elementary. “I’m part of the PTA. Last year, I just emailed a lot of people trying to get the word out. I actually took a picture with them putting the speed bumps in because I was super excited.”

Whitney has had all her children walk to school, which she says can be a scarier task than you’d think.

“We’ve almost been hit a couple of times, and there’s been a wreck. It’s been a little crazy,” she told KY3. “They speed through, pretty bad. It’s a bunch of parents that are learning time management to get to school and work at 8 o’clock.”

The city of Harrison says they’re always working to increase safety.

“As traffic patterns change over time and development increases traffic volumes, we need to adapt our approaches to roadway safety, especially around schools, parks, and other areas with increased pedestrian travel,” said Harrison city engineer Wade Phillips in a statement Thursday. “As we are able to gauge 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 pedestrian traffic and to avoid any possible bystander accidents.

If you witness a road sign theft, you’re asked to contact either the county courthouse or local law enforcement.

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