Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Open Letter to Willie Shaw, Matt Linn, Oliver Jenkins, and Otis Jones, Jr.

Chief Willie Shaw
Shreveport Police Department

Oliver Jenkins
Shreveport City Council, District C Representative

Matthew Linn
Shreveport City Commission, District 4

Otis Jones, Jr.
CPSB Director of Transportation

 RE: Traffic Concern & Speed Limit Violations in Residential Neighborhood

On behalf of myself and many of my neighbors, I find it necessary to report a serious concern regarding speed violations on our residential street. It has become a critical problem and will get even worse as the construction begins on the Youree/Kings Highway intersection.

For years people have used our residential street as a cut-through when traffic backs up on Kings. This will get much, much worse once the construction on that major intersection reaches its peak. That’s a temporary problem lasting only as long as the construction, but it will exacerbate our already very critical problem of speeding on this street.

Our neighborhood has many young children that play outside in the afternoons and that walk home from school after being dropped off by the school bus. Throughout the day, but worse at peak traffic times, the majority of people driving down our street are driving well over the speed limit. It is absolutely not uncommon to see cars driving 40 and 50 miles an hour in our 25 mph speed zone and sometimes worse than that.

Even school buses are guilty: there is one that comes through here so fast we haven’t been able to get the number to call and report him.

The problem is so bad that my neighbors have resorted to either putting garbage cans in the road to slow people down or standing on the curb yelling at people to slow down. A couple of weeks ago, one woman was trying to catch a loose dog and in order to keep cars from hitting him, she stood in the middle of the street waving her arms so cars would slow down. This is all very dangerous and I hate to think what would happen to a child who darted out into the road as kids have been known to do.

Sitting outside in the late afternoon and early evening is like watching the drag races or traffic on an interstate.

I know that SPD is seriously understaffed and that officers are needed in high crime areas, but we would certainly be grateful if this serious problem could be addressed before something disastrous happens.

I invite all of you to contact me for an invitation to sit in the swing under my magnolia tree, sip some iced tea, and watch this circus.  Plan to come in the hours right around lunch time or from about 3:30 or 4:00 to 6 or 7:00.  Friday evenings are especially wild!  But any time is  sufficient to see the show; in fact Sunday morning one gentleman slammed on his brakes, burning rubber in the road as he backed up to confront a group of us waving our arms for him to slow down!

I know that people speed all over town and there's nothing special about our case except that this construction (much needed, I might add) is making our problem even worse than usual; the level of frustration among the people that live on this street is at a breaking point which contributes to the danger.

I've sent a version of this post in a letter to all of your offices and I have also emailed it to you all.  My contact information is therein and my email is on the sidebar of this blog as well.  Feel free to come watch anytime, and see for yourself.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Matthew Linn said...

Thank you for the message. Lisa and I also live on a Kings Hwy cut through and all the neighbors asked for a donut/traffic circle. Contrary to the one at the bottom of Thrill Hill ours works wonderfully. Now instead of going 50 the entire two blocks they get up to 35 then slow down for the donut then back up to only 35. I look forward to hanging out on your porch very soon and I appreciate the invitation.

Thanks agian,

Matthew Linn

Anonymous said...

You can find the SPD traffic cops on Clyde Fant Parkway, where there is very little dangerous driving but plenty of wide shoulders and shady spots that make ticket writing easy.

I often see cars blast through neighborhood streets when kids are walking to meet the bus, which is a real danger, but I never see traffic cops in the area. Not enough convenience, I guess.