Frustrated man briefly places speed bumps on street, wants city to address speeders
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A frustrated Toledo resident wants something done about reckless drivers on his street.
The man, who only wanted to be identified as Jim, said he reached out to the city in the fall about his concerns. Every day, he and other neighbors see drivers go far over the 25-mph speed limit on Hillcrest Avenue and the 35-mph limit on Willys Parkway.
The stop sign on Hillcrest Avenue is at the end of an 11-block stretch of road without stop signs. It’s also at the heart of a neighborhood with two parks, a pool, a senior center.
His ultimate fear is a day that ends in tragedy outside his home.
“I just wish people drove more responsibility in my neighborhood,” Jim said.
This week, he said he tried to tackle the problem himself.
He acquired three-inch-high speed bumps. Jim said he and another neighbor placed the stop signs at the intersection for a few hours Monday.
“And this amazing thing happened - almost everyone stopped for the stop sign,” he said.
He said he knew it wasn’t legal but had enough of watching people speed down his street. He said in the time his speed bumps were on the road, he said nearly everyone stopped at the stop signs.
After reaching out to city officials again earlier this week, he heard back from Transportation Commissioner Sean Burnett. He has only been in the position for a few months, and it was the first time the issue made it to his desk, Jim said he was told.
In an email to 13abc, Burnett confirmed Jim’s concerns are on his radar.
“I think it’s incredibly important that citizens feel safe traveling through their own neighborhood,” Burnett said. “(Jim) had a valid concern regarding the safety of community members walking between the Willys Parkway across Hillcrest ave to both the park to the east and the pool to the south.”
The speed limit on Hillcrest Avenue is 25 mph, which Burnett said is the lowest default speed in the city. The speed limit on Willys Parkway is 35.
“Some of the potential action items that the department is investigating involve painting high visibility crosswalks at the T-intersection, upgrading the signage to be more visible to drivers approaching the intersection, coordinating with TPD on increasing traffic enforcement in the area, as well as performing an engineering traffic study on Willys Parkway in order to potentially lower the 35 mph speed limit to 25,” Burnett said.
“I think it’s important to note that challenges with pedestrian and multi-model safety are a priority to both the department and administration, but because of Toledo’s lower density some roadways are constructed in such a way that it makes it easy for drivers to ‘get up to speed.’ That’s what makes initiatives like the department’s upcoming Pedestrian Safety Improvement program (done in coordination with ODOT), which will materially reconfigure 14 intersections with the goal of decreasing pedestrian and multi-model risk, are exciting and necessary measures that should have measurably positive impacts.”
Jim said any minor adjustment to his intersection would be an improvement he would love to see. But, he said, he wants the city to respond to the issues with urgency.
“It’s going to be important. We want something to happen before someone gets hurt,” Jim said. “Drive in my neighborhood the way you would in yours.”
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