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Breaking the Law To Get Others to Follow the Law

FACTORYVILLE, Pa. — An act of vandalism in one Wyoming County community has people calling for change, but not in the way you might think. Driving along C...

FACTORYVILLE, Pa. -- An act of vandalism in one Wyoming County community has people calling for change, but not in the way you might think.

Driving along Creek Road in Clinton Township, near Factoryville, drivers first come across a "watch children" sign and a 25 miles per hour speed limit sign. However, neighbors say hardly anyone pays attention to them.

"When they're coming the other way? Oh, yeah, they fly over there, you got to watch," said Larry Swarts.

People who live there think that's why someone chose to break the law in order to remind drivers to follow the law.

Graffiti on the wall just past the "watch children" sign reads: "Slow down - kids play on this road!"

The road is home to a few houses, a park, and is near the Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center.

People who live near Creek Road aren't bothered by the graffiti. They say the message is more important than the act itself.

"Me, and I'm sure the other neighbors around here, would throw in if they happened to get fined for the graffiti, because the message in kids' safety is, obviously, well more important than worrying about something as trivial as graffiti. Not to say that it's OK to do, but in this sense, I feel like it's warranted," Bill Sandly said.

The idea was floated on social media for the graffiti to be turned into a proper mural.

"That's an even better idea because then you take away the whole graffiti thing altogether," Sandly said.

"It'd be a good idea," Swarts said. "Maybe people would slow down over there."

We stopped by the Factoryville borough building to see what people would have to do to get a mural painted on Creek Road. It turns out, the borough council actually came up with the idea first.

"It's definitely an eyesore, and people do drive by it, especially because we have the park there for soccer and other things, it actually sees a lot of traffic, so it would be nice to have something that's a little bit more aesthetically pleasing," said borough manager Mary Ellen Buckbee.

The idea for a mural is on the borough's wish list for 2020. Buckbee says the mural would maintain the message of safety.

"We don't just want to make it pretty, we want to make it purposeful too, and that's exactly how we would do that. It is a busy location, so we would have to really time it so that we were able to do it in a way that's safe for everybody," said Buckbee.

The idea originally came from council member Sadie Rozenburg. She wasn't at the borough building on Monday, but Newswatch 16 spoke to her on the phone. She says that if enough people show interest in helping to paint a mural, the project will take off.