Photo by Lynne Deliman
An Amazon delivery van slows down before crossing over a recently installed speed bump on Woodward Avenue in Stowe.
By Chadwick Dolgos
Parental concerns voiced about road safety seem to have bumped forward the township’s efforts to mitigate speeding risks on a residential street.
A week before a new speed bump was installed on Woodward Avenue, residents Joy Hopewell and Suzette “Nicki” Hirschfield attended a public meeting Sept. 13 to ask the board to install a speed bump and a “disabled child” sign there.
Their pleas were spurred on by a close encounter earlier in the year.
“My son Chase, who was three years old at the time, was hit by a car right outside of my gate,” said Hirschfield.
Describing the incident, Hirschfield said she and her son had just stepped out of the gate to their home when, before she knew it, he had been struck by a moving car. While no serious bodily injuries were reported, Chase attended trauma therapy following the incident.
While Robin Parrilla, board president, assured Hirschfield the bump had been on order for four months during the Sept. 13 meeting, she nevertheless felt her request was being answered directly when the bump was installed just a few days later.
“I am so grateful that my voice was heard,” she said in an interview with Gazette 2.0 after the speed bump was installed right outside her house.
Commissioner Dave Rugh said the delays were brought on by coronavirus-related impacts on the economy.
Hirschfield and Hopewell are still hoping for more safety measures on their street, though. In particular, they’d like to see more stop signs installed, hoping it might curb rampant speeding on the residential street.
The current speed limit on Woodward is 25 mph, and there are multiple sets of stop signs that residents say are constantly being ignored.
“They do not stop, and the majority of the time they’re going way above the speed limit,” Hirschfield said.
Hopewell, who lives on Woodward, told the board she fears her four-year-old son with autism is at risk from speeding traffic.
“He’s already a flight risk,” she said to the board.
“He’s already being tracked by a monitoring system that actually involves our police.”
Following the speed bump’s installation, Parrilla said in an interview new signs had already been ordered and received by the township.
Rugh said more speed bumps will be installed in the township in the near future, with the next expected to be placed in the Pittock area. They will be temporarily removed during the winter months so that the roads can be cleared by the snowplow.
Residents are already starting to notice the impact of the new bump on Woodward.
“I watched seven cars not stop at either stop sign, yet they slowed down for the speed bump,” Hopewell said.
“It kind of does what I needed it to do, I just wish they would have stopped at the stop signs.”