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'This is democracy,' Neighbors start petition to reduce speed limit, add sidewalk

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jun 04, 2024

HOBART (NBC 26) — The people who live in one Hobart neighborhood say Autumn Joy Drive is a lot less safe without a sidewalk and at the current speed limit. One man decided to try making a change.

  • See what people who live near one Hobart street envision for improved safety
  • David Hernandez's house sits on the corner of Autumn Joy Drive and another street
  • Hernandez emailed Village Administrator Aaron Kramer about having the speed limit reduced on Autumn Joy Drive
  • Kramer says he told Hernandez how to start a petition
  • With more than 30 signatures, the petition will be discussed at the next Hobart Public Works and Utilities Committee meeting this month

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

The people who live here say this stretch of Autumn Joy Drive is a lot less safe without a sidewalk and at the current speed limit. I'm your Hobart neighborhood reporter Pari Apostolakos, and I spoke with people who are tying to make this stretch of roadway look more like this.

Father of three Kaleb Farragh has lived at the end of Autumn Joy Drive for more than two years.

"The whole street is just filled with kids, so it's just constant play in the roads," the stay-at-home dad said. "There's been more than a few numerous cases with people trying to drag race down the road or rolling through the stop signs."

So, when his neighbor started a petition to reduce the speed limit and add sidewalks, he signed.

"When I moved to Wisconsin in 2017, I really fell in love with the community spirit and the values that they stand for," Petition organizer David Hernandez said.

Hernandez lives along Autumn Joy Drive and has gathered more than 30 signatures asking the village for the changes.

"I just wanted to be proactive," Hernandez said.

Parents want to see the speed limit on Autumn Joy Drive changed, bringing it down from 35 mph to 25 mph.

"There's houses being developed on that road and it's a through street now," Farragh said. "It definitely should be a 25 along with the rest of this neighborhood."

Hobart village administrator Aaron Kramer says the village has received a few speed limit change requests over the past couple of years.

"This is democracy, the purest form you could come across," Kramer said of the petition.

He says once the Public Works and Utilities Committee does a safety assessment, the speed limit could change. But, the sidewalks might not happen, depending on the cost.

"Obviously, based on the signatures in the petition, a lot of people in that neighborhood think there's a problem that has to be discussed and addressed," Kramer said.

The village Public Works and Utilities Committee will talk about the petition at their meeting on June 10.