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Man Who Painted Speed Warning on Street Vows to Fight Charges

3:52 PM EDT on October 28, 2014

A Pennsylvania man was charged with criminal mischief for painting this sign in front of his business. Photo: KDKA Channel 2
A Pennsylvania man was charged with criminal mischief for painting this plea in front of his business. Via KDKA Channel 2

A Pennsylvania man faces charges of criminal mischief and disorderly conduct for painting a warning to speeding drivers on his street.

John Cherok appealed to the city about drivers going dangerously fast in front of his bookstore in McDonald, Pennsylvania. The city, for its part, conducted a study and told him speeding wasn't a problem.

The frustrated Cherok decided to paint a 25 MPH sign and the word "SLOW" in the road. Now he faces misdemeanor charges plus a $536 fine, which he refuses to pay and will fight in court.

"I was fed up," Cherok told KDKA Channel 2, in a segment picked up by the New York Post. "I don't know what else to do."

The footage shows supportive neighbors of Cherok, backing up his claims that speeding is a big problem.

"All he's trying to do is look out for the welfare of the kids around here," one neighbor told KDKA Channel 2.

"It's only right that somebody stood up and tried to do something about it," said another.

Engineer Charles Marohn of Strong Towns fame praised Cherok as a local hero. The dismissive attitude from the city reflects a wider problem in the rule-bound, unresponsive traffic engineering profession, which Marohn summarized brilliantly a few years ago in a viral video.

"We need more people like this and more cities that get the message," Marohn said on Facebook. "Some standard in some road manual does not not render us impotent. Or stupid."

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