Taking a stand: Rock Island woman determined to make her street safer

News

It’s a dangerous and even deadly intersection in Rock Island. 

But now one woman is on a mission to make the corner of 46th Avenue and Blackhawk Road safer. 

It all started when a 37-year-old Rock Island man was hit by a car and killed in front of Sharon Taylor’s home back on September 30. Police say the driver stayed at the scene. 

Taylor was home when the father of three was hit, and rushed out to the street to help. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it. 

More than two weeks later, bright orange spray paint still stains the street where the man was killed. Serving as a reminder for Taylor as she waits for the bus every day. 

“The various locations of the orange spray paint is just a constant reminder of what happened,” said Taylor. 

In a Local 4 News exclusive, Taylor recounted the memories of a day she says she’ll never forget. 

“I heard a loud crash outside in the street. There was a young gentleman laying in the street.” 

The speed limit along 46th Avenue is 30 miles per hour, but Taylor says many drivers don’t obey it.

So now Taylor is taking a stand. 

“Just all the cars that go by constantly so fast,” she said. “Something is going to happen again.”

Every day, rain or shine, there’s Taylor. She walks from her front door to the same spot on the side of the road, the grass now matted down from hours of standing her ground. She chose the spot because it’s where the man was found that day. 

If you drive along 46th Avenue, it’s hard to miss Taylor, who holds a pink and white Styrofoam sign above her head with the message “slow down and save a life.” 

“To me it doesn’t really matter what the weather is,” Taylor said. “I feel this strongly about it and it’s just something that I have to do. I just believe that I’m in this situation for a reason.”

Bracing strong winds, Taylor bundled up in gloves, a scarf and sweater to do her daily two hour shift. 

“The accident occurred at 7:07p.m. in the evening so I try to stay out until then,” said Taylor. 

Now she’s hoping her Styrofoam sign will be swapped for something permanent. 

“I was thinking about the sign that says ‘check your speed’ or the digital signs that tell you how fast you’re going when you’re coming down the street.”

And serve as a silent tribute to a stranger.

“I think he needs to have something done in his memory to hopefully prevent this from happening again,” she said. 

So until there’s a solution, there’s Taylor. 

“I’m not sure what the answer is, but there is an answer.”

Who won’t stand by and let someone else lose their life. 

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