Six months ago, a speeding driver on my street - Arkansas Avenue - hit a parked car while I was loading my own car in front of my house, crushing all three major arteries in my leg, and almost causing me to lose my leg.
After eight surgeries and more than a month in the hospital, my neighbors and I petitioned your offices to implement traffic calming on our street to make sure this would not happen again. In December, I attended an in-person community meeting where representatives from your offices promised to slow traffic on Arkansas Avenue and outlined what steps would be taken to make our street safe for pedestrians, bicyclist, and drivers.
But six months later, there is no clear progress and no timeline for action -- and now a nearly identical crash on Arkansas has sent yet another person to the hospital.
On the morning of Sunday, April 6 around 8:30am, a tow truck traveling northeast on Arkansas Avenue NW passed my house and on the next block rear-ended a parked car, flipping the truck on its side, almost hitting a churchgoer on the sidewalk, and damaging several more parked cars in front of it. The driver was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Since our meeting with you in December, no changes that could have prevented Sunday’s crash have been made.
My neighbors and I are asking that you take immediate action to:
>> Paint traffic lanes and bike lanes on Arkansas to clearly demarcate the road to make transportation safe for everyone.
>> Remove the Peak Hour lane and paint in parking boxes so that drivers are clear where the lanes are and drivers do not accidentally rear-end parked cars or hit pedestrians.
>> Repaint crosswalks and add fluorescent pedestrian signs and pylons to warn drivers of crossing pedestrians as promised.
>> Install stop signs at Arkansas Avenue's intersections with Buchanan Street, Iowa Avenue, and Decatur Street to slow down the speed of traffic and make our street safe.
It is the responsibility of your offices to ensure that all community members who use and live near roads in this city - whether they are driving, biking, or walking - are safe. I am still undergoing rehab to recuperate from being hit in October, and will live with the damage from this crash for the indefinite future.
Every day that the dangerous street design and traffic flow on Arkansas Avenue is not addressed is a day that another person could be injured or killed as a result of unsafe street design and traffic flow. This is an opportunity to lead in our community and make a real impact in the lives of my neighbors.
We need immediate action to make sure nobody else is hurt or killed as a result of irresponsible and dangerous traffic patterns. Please make Arkansas Avenue a place where all people - residents and commuters, walkers and drivers, churchgoers and schoolchildren - can move around safely and comfortably.
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