Accidents are a fact of life. They just are. You stub your toe, spill the coffee or careen wildly into someone’s front yard not because you mean to, but because accidents happen.
Certainly, some accidents are more serious than others and Samia Zohdy has seen more than her share. In 2006, while standing outside her home at the corner of Circle and Fillmore, Zohdy was struck by a car that left the road and came onto her lawn. Her house was hit in November 2009, a stop sign at the intersection has been plowed over, and even her neighbor’s home has been struck.
That she’s looking for some additional measure of safety in her neighborhood is more than understandable.
Zohdy and her family recently asked the village to make that intersection a four-way stop. Currently, only the traffic moving east and west along Fillmore is directed to stop. After a few discussions with village officials, and a review by Forest Park’s traffic and safety committee, the request was denied. As sympathetic as anyone would be to Zohdy’s plight, it appears the village made the right decision.
In each of the accidents mentioned during a recent discussion between Zohdy’s family and the village council, police reports determined that stop signs likely would have done nothing to prevent the crashes. In one case, the driver admitted to confusing the brake pedal and the gas. That the village seemingly shrugged its shoulders and said the universe is determined to send cars into their yard does nothing to comfort the Zohdys, but the facts of each case support the decision.
However, one argument presented by the council we do not agree with. It was stated that granting this request would somehow obligate the village to fulfill other similar requests by residents concerned with traffic safety. That’s not true. Had the village determined that additional stop signs would improve safety at Circle and Fillmore, the circumstances supporting that decision would have no bearing on a different set of circumstances at a different intersection.