GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A U.S. Navy veteran has never lost his drive to protect his community.
This week Charles Hipp, who served for six years during the Vietnam War, turned in a petition to the Williamson County Commissioners Court seeking their help in his fight to stop speeders in the Rabbit Hollow neighborhood, located about two miles south of Georgetown.
“We’ve got little children out here,” Hipp said. “We’ve got more little kids out here than we have ever before, all around this area out here. That’s my main concern is the safety of this subdivision.”
Hipp cannot get around like he once could, so he relies on a motorized wheelchair to keep a close watch on his neighborhood. His power chair can only reach a maximum speed of six miles per hour, and he’s noticed a lot of drivers going well above the posted speed limit of 30.
“I give [drivers] the slow down sign like this,” Hipp said while waving his hand up and down. “They speed up, and they throw me the bird. That’s putting it the nice way.”
He and his neighbors have even put out signs in their yards reading “drive like your kids live here” to try to get drivers’ attention.
“You’re not going to drive a hundred miles an hour, 50 miles an hour with little kids in the neighborhood,” he said.
Since nothing has worked to fix the problem yet, they want the Williamson County commissioners to add more signage and change what’s already there.
They pointed out that the only speed limit sign sits right at the entrance to the neighborhood on Rabbit Hollow Lane off Old 1460 Trail. Neighbors suggest the county could at least move that sign further down the street so that drivers are more likely to see it and slow down.
Sharon O’Connell, who’s lived in the neighborhood for almost 30 years, said her family noticed more speeders during the past few years when the subdivision connected to theirs expanded.
“It’s a straight run all the way down [Rabbit Hollow Lane] to the end of the subdivision, and some of them use it like a race track,” O’Connell said. “That’s scary.”
Since Hipp turned in the petition, deputies from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office traffic division said they plan to step up patrols in the neighborhood.
Valerie Covey, the Williamson County commissioner for this area, also said over the phone Thursday that a county engineer is now considering a speed study. She said there is talk, as well, of possibly putting up additional speed signs along the street.
These possible changes are a credit to Hipp, who said he doesn’t give up a fight easily.
“I can’t do much of nothing else,” he said, “but I can run around on this power chair and see what’s going on.”