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|Jurors listen to Briarcliff resident, agree to stop sign request|
In the eyes of local homeowner David Kaul, the Ouachita Parish Police Jury is comprised of superheroes.
That's because like superheroes, jurors have the ability to help save lives, Kaul said.
Kaul, along with several other homeowners, petitioned the police jury Monday during its regular meeting to install a three-way stop sign at Briarcliff Drive and Stonecliff Drive.
The parish's public works department originally denied the request because federal guidelines the department utilizes say stop signs should not be used as a means to control speeding.
Parish attorney Jay Mitchell, who once lived in the Briarcliff subdivision, said, "The entire time I lived there, speeding was an issue."
Public works director John Tom Murray said the issue concerns speeding within the neighborhood, which is why public works recommended denying the request.
However, Kaul said the only right decision was installing the stop sign at the intersection.
"A tragedy occurs when you have an idea that an accident will happen and you have the power to prevent it but do nothing about it," Kaul said. "You don't wear capes, you don't fly over buildings, you don't have super strength, but make no mistake about it, you all have super human ability. You have the power to sense danger and to save lives, and it can be done with something as simple as a street sign."
Kaul, president of the Briarcliff homeowners association, said Briarcliff has 98 lots and is considered a neighborhood with restricted access because it only has one street that allows access to the neighborhood and one street going out.
More than two-thirds of Briarcliff's families have small children, Kaul said, and most of them love riding their bicycles throughout the neighborhood.
"That is a recipe for disaster," Kaul said. "There is a significant blind spot from all three vantages of that intersection."
Kaul said one child has already been hit at that intersection. He was not seriously injured, Kaul said.
"It has been only by the grace of God that a child has not been seriously injured or killed," Kaul said.
Kaul implored upon the police jury to overturn the recommendation of the public works department, saying it was "the only right choice."
"We are not asking for an impossible thing here," Kaul explained. "It is a very simple decision, and one without controversy. We ask you to step in and prevent the loss of a child.
"This decision affects no one but the 98 homeowners who overwhelmingly want this."
The police jury unanimously agreed to install the three-way stop sign.