A traffic sign painted at an intersection in Lemon Grove certainly caused drivers to stop. Only, they weren’t obeying the sign – they were doing a double-take and shaking their heads because the sign was misspelled.
A photo going around social media Monday showed a sign in a residential area at Washington and Lincoln streets that read “STPO,” when it should’ve read “STOP.” The word was painted on the asphalt near a red stop sign at the 4-way intersection.
Residents took to social media to criticize the misspelled sign. Much of the conversation took place in a Facebook group called "Lemon Grove Parents United" after a photo of the misspelled sign was posted in the group by a local.
"SMH. This is what happens when you get rid of good teachers," one person commented on the photo.
The Facebook group is a place for Lemon Grove residents to gather and discuss issues shaking up the school district, including the controversial resignations of 16 probationary teachers this past March. In May, the Lemon Grove School District superintendent announced she was leaving her position.
NBC 7 visited the area early Tuesday morning. The misspelled lettering – the P and the O – had been painted over but it still didn’t say what was intended. Instead, the sign read “ST.”
A Google Maps image of the area prior to the repainting, misspelling, and consequent modification of the sign showed that while the original lettering was spelled correctly, the O and P were beginning to fade.
By 11 a.m. Tuesday, city crews were back at it, fixing the letters. A large stencil spelling "STOP" was placed on the ground and a crew could be seen spraying over the stencil with white paint.
NBC 7 reached out to the City of Lemon Grove's public works department to gather additional details on the spelling error.
At 1:45 p.m., City Manager Lydia Romero said the sign had been fixed and released this statement on behalf of the public works department:
"The City of Lemon Grove is performing its annual contracted street rehabilitation work to resurface city streets. As part of the rehabilitation contract a sub-contractor is hired to perform the striping and sign legends. The sign legend that was misspelled was part of the work that was completed by the striping contractor yesterday. City staff was informed of the spelling error late last night and reached out to the striping contractor early this morning to fix the error. The error has been fixed."
Romero added that as part of the contract, a company called Statewide Stripes, Inc. is responsible for painting 19 locations throughout Lemon Grove, of which seven – including the sign at Washington and Lincoln streets – have been completed.
"Unfortunately, human error was made as part of yesterday’s work," the city’s statement continued.
Romero said the city received one notification from a resident about the error via an online service request form plus what she called "a lot of media attention."
"Lemon Grove is pleased we were able to bring a smile and levity to everyone’s day," the statement concluded.