Massachusetts community debates turtle crossing signs

Recently, a wave of “Turkey Crossing” signs have appeared in some south coast communities. I actually only saw them in Westport, but that’s cool.

We have signs warning of passing geese, ducks, deer, children and even fire engines, so why not signs warning of passing turtles?

Massachusetts community debates turtle crossing signs

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

If it’s on the road, why not put up a sign warning motorists so no one or anything gets hurt? It makes sense, right?

When it comes to warning drivers of the potential for turtles on the road, it’s not so simple for the good folks of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

The Lowell Sun reports, “Behind the houses on Cathy Road is a small pond, where the turtles hatch their young during the warmer months and move on to other bodies of water.” While doing so, the turtles often cross the road and are run over by passing cars.

Massachusetts community debates turtle crossing signs

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

According to SunChelmsford’s Department of Public Works recently posted ‘Turtle Crossing’ signs facing two-way traffic warning motorists to beware of small creatures.

The newspaper reported that a few days later, a Cathy Road resident complained that signs were “devaluing her property” and demanded they be removed. A sign was immediately removed. The other stays while the town debates what to do next.

Massachusetts community debates turtle crossing signs

Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

The great former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neil of Massachusetts, once said, “All politics is local.” It is indeed.

The big debate over the ‘Turtle Crossing’ sign continues on Cathy Road and across Chelmsford – and I guess that’s a good thing, because that’s exactly how government is supposed to work.

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Sam D. Gomez