Call For Action success: new road signs coming to dangerous stretch of road

TOWN OF CROSS PLAINS, Wis. — News 3 Now’s Call For Action team is getting results for neighbors who live on a stretch of road in Dane County that’s prone to accidents.

Old Military Road is often used as a shortcut for locals to cut through Pine Bluff, and teenagers often use it as a joy ride. This summer, the stretch made headlines when a 22-year-old man was killed on the turn.

Neighbors like Dale Luhman say it was only a matter of time.

“What does it take?” he asked. “Does someone have to die for it to change? And apparently that is so.”

Luhman has lived on Old Military Road for six years. He says he and his neighbors have lost their mailboxes repeatedly to unruly drivers; it happens so often, he says, his neighbor keeps extras waiting in his garage.

Luhman also recalls the number of times he’s helped drivers out of the ditch after taking a curve too fast. He told us the story of a 16-year-old who came to his door around 11 p.m. two years ago.

“She was soaking wet because she had to crawl out the passenger window,” he remembers. “We actually went to a meeting at the town hall, and I stood up and asked about getting the speed limit changed and if we could do something. I got a lot of nods, and they kind of placated me but no real action ever happened.”

Luhman called our Call for Action volunteers after that fatal crash this summer, and that’s when things started to happen.

“This summer we got a note, I guess from you – from News 3,” says Greg Hyer, Cross Plains Town Chair.

Our CFA volunteers were able to get the topic of Old Military Road on a town hall meeting, putting into motion a conversation with the county highway department, according to Hyer. He says they pulled crash data to study the issue within weeks of the meeting.

“It’s about 2 accidents a year over the last 20 years,” Hyer said of the data. “And all of them – when you look atthe traffic data, [it says] you’re not negotiating the curve, you’re taking it too fast, you’re driving too fast for conditions.”

The town board agreed to order newer, high-visibility signs for the curve. Members also decided to lower the recommended speed limit on the turn from 25 to 20 miles an hour.

“It’s more signage, bigger siagnage, higher visibility signage… as another way to keep enforcing, you need to treat this curve with respect and slow it down more,” Hyer said.

The signs are scheduled to be put up yet this month.

If you have a consumer issue you think our Call For Action volunteers can solve, you can call for action anytime at channel3000.com/callforaction.