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Roadside Memorials

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Old 03-10-2007, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default Roadside Memorials

This has bothered me for some time. I don't want to upset anybody either, but I live near very busy "fast" roads. Someone dies near us every year in a traffic accident. People have been placing memorials now that stand for years, they continue to re-stock. I am not against remembering the dead, I am not agaisnt placing flowers near the scene of the accident for a week or two, although I have told my family NEVER to do that for me. I do have a problem of placing flowers, crosses and "stuff" at that spot FOREVER! I think it is unsightly and distracting no matter how nice the memorial. Does this happen in your area of the world? How do you feel about it?
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Old 03-10-2007, 02:21 PM   #2
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Happens here in Arkansas. I remember a few years ago there was talk of a law banning these roadside memorials, because the memorials themselves tend to cause more accidents, with people slowing down to look at them and not paying attention to their driving. I don't think anything ever came of the proposal.

The road dept. does clean the memorials up every now and then, but it's a waste of their time, because they're back within the week usually.

I don't really like them. If someone I LOVED died in a traffic accident, I'd never want to drive by that place again, much less have a permenant/constant reminder of what had happened there!!!! That's just my opinion, though!
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Old 03-10-2007, 02:45 PM   #3
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I don't care for them either and yes it does happen here. They were trying to outlaw them here but no luck yet. They are distracting and in my opinion dangerous. I just don't think they are a good way of remembering. I too wouldn't drive by a place where a loved one was killed in an accident.
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Old 03-10-2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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We have them all over in Oregon too and they are very distracting. I've seen accidents almost happen, because of people slowing down trying to read what is written on the crosses. If it was my family member, I wouldn't want to go back and re-live the accident.
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:08 PM   #5
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Yeah, dont like them.

Here is the most outrageous part, when I lived in Texas there was a bad curve that had a fair number of them. The spot was bad because it was a blind curve with a side street AND it was on the way back from the lake so a high number of drunk drivers.

They decided to straighten the curve significantly, put in a light and put in warning lights (before the curve so you didnt come around and get a redlight in your face). Straightening the curve required blasting away large amounts of limestone cliff-face.

Loved ones protested because this project would destroy the memorials that were along the cliff. They thought keeping their crosses and flowers was more important than trying to prevent future tragedy.
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:14 PM   #6
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I guess I am used to them, because here in Texas they are quite common & I have never found them distracting. Usually they are put up once and then deteriorate over time, though I've seen a handful that were maintained.

ETA: If anything, they remind me to be more careful of my driving. There is one by a Wal-Mart I go to--the speed limit through there is 50 and it really needs another stoplight or two, and there's one I drive by every day on my way to work. I don't actually "see" them anymore--I noticed them once and that's it, but I know they are there and I need to be mindful of my driving.
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:17 PM   #7
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We have one near our house that acutally has a Christmas tree with lights on it -- that's still up. I would rather place a memorial somewhere my loved one liked to be, not where they suffered the most.
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:56 PM   #8
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My sister was killed in an automobile accident, a few days later when I for some insane reason went to the corner where the accident happened there was a memorial set up. We did not set it up nor did anyone we knew. My niece, her daughter ( 8 years old at the time ) wanted to put something there and she drew a picture and we went back and placed it there. I felt very bad for the people who lived in the house there having this happen in there front yard, then a memorial put there. I haven't been past there since it has been over 10 years. My husband went by once just in traveling and said there was still a candle and ribbon, we don't know why.
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Old 03-10-2007, 04:03 PM   #9
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We have them all over here and I've never been bothered with them. Sometimes they serve a purpose as to warn people that it's a dangerous stretch, to be careful. Other times, if enough awareness is brought to a particular trouble spot, the city/state will put up a stoplight or other traffic cautions to help alleviate the problem area.
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Old 03-10-2007, 04:48 PM   #10
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We have them all over and the majority of them last only a few weeks. The only one that stayed for a long time was a hit and run where a bicyclist died (they never found the driver). That one started out huge and dwindled to a small cross that lasted for another 2 years. It is now gone. While I personally would never build or want a memorial such as this, there are a few who ease their own pain by building or contributing to one.
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:09 PM   #11
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There are a lot of them here too. The memorials in lower income areas seem to last longer and the more ritzy neighborhoods have them only for a week or two (probably because the people w/more money won't stand for those eyesores in their neighborhoods). There is one near my son's school and it's been there for 2 years. Unfortunately, it's near a bus stop and someone keeps replenshing the stuff using plastic flowers, mylar balloons, stuffed animals, etc. The most disturbing thing to me is that friends or relatives gather around that place and drink--and leave their bottles and trash behind. Hello people? Does it not seem wrong to you to booze up at the scene of the accident when your family member died as a result of DUI???

There is also a dangerous stretch of road out in the country where there are numerous tragedies each year. Last year right after graduation 3 teens were killed in a crash. Some of their classmates went out the weekend after to visit the crash site and BAM! A new tragedy, 3 more victims. It's sad and it's disturbing and I don't agree with people keeping up the sites for longer than a few days.
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:45 PM   #12
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One of my best friends died about a week after graduation. There is to this day a memorial alongside the interstate where she died. It's far away from the road, back near a fence where it is mostly obstructed. You have to actually know it's there and look for it to notice it. That, I have no problem with because it's not an eyesore, and it's not noticeable to anyone but those who want to remember.

The huge ones alongside the road that blatantly scream "LOOK AT ME!" are the ones I have a problem with. Traffic is dangerous enough, and drivers are bad enough without that sort of distraction.
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:38 PM   #13
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Well, I personally can't see memorializing the place where someone died, just like I can't see celebrating the anniversary of their death. But if it eases someone's pain or somehow makes them feel better, I can't really see that it hurts me to allow them to set up and maintain a memorial. I guess I just don't buy the "it's a distraction" argument. Compared to all the other distractions that exist, not the least of which are all the billboards placed along roadsides, these memorials seem pretty innocuous to me. If someone tried to place a memorial in my front yard, however, I'd probably be pretty miffed about it. Hopefully there won't be any bad traffic accidents in front of my house.

I could be wrong, but I think this is a cultural practice--I think it is very common in Latin and South American countries, which is probably why it is more common in some areas than in others.
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Old 03-10-2007, 10:43 PM   #14
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In Mexico they have full-blown cement, permanent crosses on the side of the road where someone met their maker. I thought that was kind of nice...not tacky with tons of wreaths, etc...just a simple, permanent cross. I quite liked it.
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Old 03-11-2007, 12:22 AM   #15
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Yes, it's common here too. It doesn't bother me, although I can't see that it would ease my loss, but if it helps someone else then I think they should be able to do it.

One of the state representatives sponsored a bill here a few years ago to ban them, but it didn't get anywhere.
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