Watson's most popular tourist attraction is stop sign in Walmart - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

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Watson's most popular tourist attraction is stop sign in Walmart parking lot

Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
WATSON, LA (WAFB) -

[UPDATE 4/29/2017]: As of Saturday morning, not even 24 hours after this story was completed, the Watson Walmart stop sign was hit again. This time a company van ran over the sign and was stuck on top of it.

ORIGINAL STORY:

It's been scratched, taped up, and even run over. It has its own Facebook page with thousands of likes. It's the latest hot spot for a selfie and even has its own name with a sign taped to it a few days ago reading, "Dear Petey the pole, get well soon."

T-shirts for the stop sign are now for sale in what's become an overnight tourist attraction in Watson.

"It's kind of interesting that right now the biggest celebrity in all of Watson, Louisiana is a stop sign in the Walmart parking lot," said lifelong Watson resident, Robbie Harrison.

It's a stop sign that's creating all kinds of jokes and memes on social media, but behind all the laughter is a serious message from Ryan Chavers, who created the Watson Walmart Stop Sign Facebook page.

"I'm not going to stop what I'm doing because these accidents in my hometown have spiraled out of control," said Shavers.

"The Walmart store here has been open about six years. Sometime around the 1st of March, they decided to change the traffic marking by putting the stop sign up and almost immediately, it started getting hit by people pulling into the parking lot," said Harrison.

Just in the past several weeks, Chavers says there have been at least six known wrecks. "I know one lady actually did flip her car and break her arm," said Chavers.

A car ended up on its side with the broken sign next to it. There was also a pickup truck that ran over the top of the sign. People tell WAFB that Walmart has replaced the sign several times and even pulled several shopping carts together with caution tape to keep people from running into it.

"They fixed it Wednesday afternoon and within 24 hours on Thursday, it was hit twice," said Harrison.

One of those two wrecks involved an SUV running into it. "Her vehicle, her front tire was on top of the sign and bent the sign to where it is now," said Chavers.

After just half an hour of WAFB being out at the stop sign, crews from Walmart put up a noodle and caution flags to make it more visible.

"A lot of people say that it's just people not paying attention and not being aware of what's going on when they're driving. On the other hand, I'm not a genius, but if I was a merchant and I put something in my parking lot that people kept hitting head on daily, I think there might be a problem," said Harrison.

Since Chavers says people can't change their driving habits, he wants "the sign gone or the sign moved."

Meanwhile, the likes and t-shirt orders keep piling up as many people near and far want some part of Watson's celebrity. WAFB did reach out to Walmart for comment, but has not heard back at this time.

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