La Crosse neighbors on 20th and Jackson streets call for stop signs to help prevent accidents

Neighbors are frustrated about accidents and close calls at La Crosse intersection with no stop signs
20th and Jackson

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – People who live in one La Crosse neighborhood fear one intersection is going to take someone’s life if the city doesn’t make a change. Sometimes problems are not always obvious at first sight until someone hears it.

“Yesterday, came back from a bike ride with my wife sitting in the back yard,” said Gary Padesky, a resident near 20th and Jackson streets in La Crosse. “All of a sudden we heard … it sounds like a bomb when there’s a car accident.”

Padesky lives three doors down and is also a city council member for this neighborhood.

“Last December I had asked about doing a traffic study here at 20th and Jackson,” Padesky said.

He wants this study because he said people’s lives depend on it.

“There’s so many near accidents every day,” he said.

Long time La Crosse resident Janet Bonadurer-Olson lives there too and has heard the problem several times.

“Oh yeah. We heard the last one,” she said.

The tire track marks are evidence left behind from an accident that happened just 24 hours ago.

“The girl got out and there’s a little baby in an infant seat and another, probably about a three-year-old,” Padesky said. “Here’s two kids sobbing scared the mother hysterical .”

Everyone is okay but the intersection doesn’t tell people to stop.

“We need stop signs here to slow this traffic down,” said Steve Korger a local resident.

Korger teaches at Long Fellow Middle School just down the street. He said he wants students who live on that block to stay safe.

“I want them to be safe on their way to school and on their way back from school,” Korger said.

This neighborhood is filled with children who have their whole lives ahead of them.

“I think there’s at least 15 kids in the immediate area,” Bonadurer-Olson said.

The current signs that exist Bonadurer-Olson said are treated like a recommendation.

“We’re lucky if they even kind of yield,” she said.

This patch of asphalt has a reputation. People don’t even have to ask when they hear that sound.

“We knew exactly what intersection it was,” Bonadurer-Olson.

The frustrating part for Padesky is what it takes to change this sign to this sign. The timeline to get one installed isn’t efficient.

“It has to meet certain criteria as far as accidents,” Padesky said. “It’s been over six months.”

The gears are turning now to get signs installed, but Padesky said people’s lives are still at risk.

“I don’t want to have a dead baby three houses down,” Padesky said.

Another concerned citizen, who lives nearby, is nine-year-old Arionna.

“I just don’t want people getting hurt,” she said.

These neighbors don’t want to hear anyone else falling victim because of the lack of a $100 sign.

“I shouldn’t need an act of congress to try and help people,” Padesky said. “We have to find a better way of doing this.”

Neighbors say stop signs were installed at an intersection a block down the road. They say those have made a big difference.

Padesky told News 8 Now later Wednesday a city traffic engineer is working on an order for Monday’s public works meeting. He said they plan to recommend getting stop signs installed at the intersection.