I live in Indianapolis, next to the town of Speedway, IN. It’s where the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is and the Indy 500 race runs. It’s the single largest spectator one-day event in the world. I’m so close to Speedway that I often tell people I live in Speedway. Our neighborhood is so close it’s part of the Speedway Fire and Police District. Speedway is a town within a city. Indianapolis surrounds the incorporated burg of Speedway.
Main Street in Speedway is only a few blocks long and ends at the track. It’s always packed during racing season and stays busy most of the year. There are a dozen or more restaurants, bars, breweries, and coffee shops. There are racing headquarters, an A.J. Foyt museum (and wine shop), and an indoor go-kart racing facility.
Several cross streets intersect with Main. Like I said, it’s only a few blocks, ten at the most. At each cross street, there’s a brick crosswalk outlined in white and an oblong sign that says all traffic to stop for pedestrians. Within the oblong is an image of a stop sign. The sticker-like stop sign within the sign is only three or four inches across.
It’s Not a Stop Sign
One summer day, my wife and I were driving towards the track on Main Street in her Mustang convertible with the top down. The car in front of us came to a dead stop at the first non-stop sign. There were no pedestrians. They thought it was a stop sign. It’s been my observation that most drivers don’t come to a complete stop at an actual stop sign, let alone a pseudo-stop sign, but this driver did.
Drawing a Crowd
Before the third stop, I yelled, “It’s not a stop sign!” On the fourth, my wife joined me. In unison, we good naturedly shouted it’s not a stop sign. By the sixth, we’d drawn a crowd, and people walking the street began shouting with us. Before we reached the end, twenty or more people pointed at the stopper and laughed as they shouted, “It’s. Not. A. Stop. Sign. The driver of the full-stopping vehicle never did figure it out.
Last week I was coming home from an event and turned south on Main from 16th Street. The car in front of me came to a full stop at each sign. It was rainy and cold, and no one was out walking. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t in the convertible, didn’t want to roll down a window, and in this day and age, why take the chance of being shot?