I live in a small subdivision composed of just shy of 40 homes that line two enclosed “cul-de-saced” streets and a small portion of a main street. Eight of the homes sit on less than a third of the main thru street. Since I live on the main street, I count it as my street, a part of the subdivision, and thus deserving my protection.
I grimace at the drivers who race down the street as if they are on a motor speedway. I remove signs that are posted on our street advertising garage sales, home improvement bargains, and any other nuisance advertising. There is an ordinance in our county banning these sorts of signs so the law is on my side. I collect trash strewn by those horrible, horrible people that dare to throw trash out of their windows. Am I wrong for secretly wishing that I could create some device that would make the refuse automatically fling back in their vehicles?
I inquired with the county Department of Transportation about speed bumps, but since the street is not technically within the subdivision and is a main street, speed bumps are not allowed. The local police have received several complaint calls from me about speeding on our street. To my delight, the officers set up a patrol. Unfortunately, the speeders were only going about 12 miles over the limit, and as the officer explained, they could not take action. Really!?!
I was ecstatic last year when a three way stop area was installed on our street. Along with this, they installed 4 sets of a series of 4 white poles on the shoulder of our street. These are those street poles that give if struck by a car so as not to intensify the crash. I walked around with my chest poked out for days with the suspicion that my efforts paid off. Unfortunately, the dumb dummies sometimes run the stop sign and speed on through. There are tire marks along the street and a couple of the poles have been knocked down. We also noticed that one of the speed limit signs had been struck and was broken in two. Another call to the police, just recently left me with a response that the police would patrol when they were not on other more pressing assignments. Fair enough.
My chest is sticking out again. I contacted the DOT using their nifty online request form to report the downed poles and speed limit sign. Today we noticed that they have been repaired. It only took about two weeks!
On MLK, Jr. day, I contacted the president of our homeowner’s association to volunteer to head up a beautification committee for our subdivision. After returning from our annual King Day service project, I was basking in the glow of community service and the President’s call to serve. This prompted my reaching out to enlist the help of others in my small community as I had pondered before. That call proved fruitful and I am the newly minted beautification committee chair. I hope folks will show up on February 28 for the first meeting and service project to pick up trash.
These are certainly little things, but they went a long way in empowering me, a single citizen, to continue righting wrongs and repairing breaches.