Nursery school pleads for 4-way stop in The Fan

Published: Oct. 27, 2017 at 12:11 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2017 at 6:32 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A nursery school in The Fan is leading a plea for a four-way stop sign just steps away from its front door.

On Oct. 26, a serious crash prompted Ms. Babs' Nursery School to make an even bigger push for changes at the corner of Grove and Stafford avenues.

"Our strollers as well as neighboring schools strollers are always on these corners, which makes us extremely cautious moving forward," the school posted on Facebook.

One online petition, which has hundreds of signatures since it was first launched a few years ago, says "the main concern lies with safety of children passing across Grove Avenue and the rate of speed cars are going at the blind spots of that intersection."

Joe Cafarella, the director of Ms. Babs', first started the petition in 2014. He says day after day of near misses prompted him to push for change.

"The day after I actually started this petition, we had a major t-bone accident at this intersection," he explained.

Cafarella has always been afraid someone would get seriously hurt or killed at the intersection because cars drive fast, and there are only two stop signs in the area.

"For every 99 screeching brakes, you have that one really bad accident," said Cafarella.

Last week he heard and saw that one bad accident, rushing to help a woman who fell out of her car after the accident happened.

The three-car crash sent one car into a front yard. Almost a week later, there are still parts of that car in front of the home where it came to a stop.

With nearly 60 children at Ms. Babs' Nursery School, Cafarella constantly thinks about their safety and what can be done to keep everyone who lives and works in the area safe as well.

"These guys are my responsibility, and I want to make it a point that I'm not going to go away. This is something I'm very passionate about," he said.

Cafarella's petition has grown to more than 500 signatures. He says the nursery school has been in touch with their city council representative, Kim Gray, and they have started to see results in the area.

City workers recently installed a new "no parking" sign at the corner of N. Stafford and Grove to help keep the intersection visible.

"They've done a traffic study, they've come out, they've measured how far the 'no parking' signs are," he said. "They've also done a couple surveys where they're measuring some speed coming through here."

Cafarella wants to see the progress continue, hoping to cut down on accidents all together.

"We're very hopeful we can get a four-way stop in the next few weeks," he said.

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