DC residents press city for action to slow down traffic on Arkan - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DC residents press city for action to slow down traffic on Arkansas Avenue

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Residents called FOX 5 for help on what they are calling a public safety issue. They live along Arkansas Avenue in Northwest D.C. It is an area that has homes, schools, and many children at play, but they say despite their best efforts, they can't get D.C. officials to help slow down traffic on the street.

During rush hour, neighbors in this Petworth community say Arkansas Avenue can look more like a highway. Four lanes of speeding cars, yet the speed limit is just 25 miles an hour.

“They're often trying to get onto Piney Branch Parkway and to Rock Creek Parkway or coming from it,” said resident Kelly Blynn. “They think this is a highway.”

Blynn and her neighbors are so frustrated from lack of action by the District, they turned to us. They have started a petition and asked Mayor Vincent Gray and their council member, Muriel Bowser, for help.

“We had a meeting,” Blynn said. “They committed to doing a study and they said by now they would have the next steps ready to see what they could do to slow traffic down. As of yet, we still have no timetable for action.”

It was an accident that got everyone’s attention and left Kelly Dillon hospitalized. She said an intoxicated driver she believes was speeding crushed her as she was standing between two cars.

“I don't have the exact speed, but he was moving fast enough that the impact of his car on the first parked car was enough to bend the axle of the car,” she said.

Six month after the accident, Dillon is still not able to return to work as her injuries continue to heal.

“I had a crush injury to my left leg which broke my tibia and then also crushed arteries in my legs,” said Dillon. “I had to have emergency bypass surgery and repairs to the bones as well.”

Trying to deal with some of the concerns from residents in this neighborhood, Department of Transportation officials put up an electronic speed sign tracking how fast cars are going by. But residents say even after that sign went up, it didn't do any good.

Neighbors want real action. They want new stop signs at three open intersections, rush hour lanes to be taken away and they are not opposed to speed cameras.

“We feel like every day that goes by that cars continue to speed like this, there’s that risk for another crash,” Blynn said.

FOX 5 contacted DDOT and Councilmember Bowser's office.

DDOT sent us this email: “DDOT is working on a traffic calming project for that area and we expect to conclude our study and make recommendations soon."

Councilmember Bowser's office says it is urging DDOT to finish the study as soon as possible and looks forward to improving road safety in the area.

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