Neighborhood Issue Turns Full Circle - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/13/02

Neighborhood Issue Turns Full Circle

It looks like a normal neighborhood street at 70th and Albany, but neighbors here say it's been a dangerous area for months.

"The majority of the people down here who have children especially were concerned about the children getting hurt because there were several cars that were really speeding down the streets. We have a straight street here, and it's fairly wide, and so they think it's a great way to avoid Slide Road, so they come this way and it makes it quick and simple because there are no traffic lights to deal with," said Gwen Jones.

Gwen Jones led the neighborhood effort to stop the speeders. They formed a neighborhood committee, petitioned the area, and got more than 80% of the neighborhood to agree there was a dangerous problem. Then, they took it to the City of Lubbock.

"We saw speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour quite frequently since this is a residential neighborhood. We had to do something to slow it down," said Mike McKillip.

The city checked it out, surveying the traffic in neighborhood, and sure enough, cars were flying through.

"We had people literally driving 80 miles per hour down this street at approximately 6:00," said Linda Harkey.

Stop signs are only considered at full intersections, not an option here, because this strip of Albany is a t-street. So, the city installed concrete circles forcing drivers to go around -- and slow down.

"We can see there has been a slow down in traffic, not only in the speed, but also, there's been less traffic going through here. It tends to be an inconvenience for people to slow down then speed up then slow down, so now, they're going down Chicago," said Mike McKillip.

"It's slowed things down a lot and cut down a lot of traffic," said Chad Read.

Residents here are still adjusting to the circles, but they say they're happy traffic is slower in this southwest Lubbock neighborhood. The neighborhood has had a problem the last few weekends with vandals, but they hope the police will handle that situation.

If your neighborhood has similar speed problems, you can call the City Traffic Department at (806) 775-2132. It costs about $3,000 for the city to install a traffic circle, but the traffic department does have about $10,000 a year, set aside for this.

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