No Longer The 'Indy 500': City Of Cape Installs Crosswalk Signs Along Broadway Corridor

May 1, 2019

A crosswalk yield sign stands in front of the Marquette Building in downtown Cape Girardeau.
Credit Lindsey Grojean/KRCU

After months of local business owners calling for speed control in downtown Cape, the city has installed new, permanent crosswalk yield signs along the Broadway corridor.

Laurie Everett, owner of the popular antique store Annie Laurie’s, says she first noticed an issue with speeding motorists three years ago after a wave of revitalization hit the area. Although crosswalks were installed, she says they weren’t defined clearly enough.

“I think it’s not on purpose that people driving don’t slow down or stop. I think they just don’t see it as a designated crosswalk,” says Everett.

She says it was difficult for pedestrians, including her shoppers, to get across the street with fast-moving vehicles going by. She resorted to Facebook posts and signs at the front of her business, including one in reference to the Indy 500, in the hopes that the situation would improve.

Everett and another business owner, Carisa Stark, who will soon open Mary Jane’s Bourbon + Smokehouse at 1107 Broadway, initially contacted councilman Wayne Bowen regarding the issue. After he departed the city council, they contacted Ward 4 councilman, Robbie Guard, who immediately took initiative.

“I felt like the messenger on it, and I wanted to work with staff to find something that would work,” says Guard.

He says the city’s first option was to install crosswalks with yellow flashing lights - a plan later deemed too costly. With the help of public works director, Stan Polivick and city manager, Scott Meyer, they settled on the permanent crosswalk yield signs placed along intersection centerlines.

He says he’s pleased with how the project turned out, and that they didn’t rush the process.

“You want to make sure that it’s done the right way, looked at at all angles, and that you come up with a solution that makes sense for all those involved,” says Guard.

Everett says since the installation, they’ve “already seen an improvement in people slowing down and letting pedestrians cross the street.”

And according to Guard, the signs are a great example of taking initiative in your community.

“Pick up the phone, find out who your city council or state representatives are, and call them with the genuine concerns that you’ve got. They will listen,” says Guard. “They can’t always fix it. But when they get an opportunity to fix something they can control, they will do that and they will surprise you more often than not.”