West side residents get speed bump, other upgrades to improve safety

Stop signs to be added in near future


After months of waiting, residents in the 7200 block of Hickory Grove Drive have finally gotten a series of new speed bumps installed, leading into a curve that many residents say had become downright dangerous.

The sharp turn had been the sight of numerous accidents that caused damage to mailboxes and other private property.

George Robinson, a nearby resident, said that he's lost one mailbox and seen several close calls in the 36 years he's lived by the curve.

"The majority of the people along this block have had their mailboxes repaired and knocked down numerous times," Robinson said.

Fed up with the speeding and reckless driving, several residents banded together and met with City Councilman Ray Lopez who approved the speed bumps last fall.

Robinson said they were installed two weeks ago and they're already working.

"Once they were installed I observed that a lot of people slowed down, which was the intended result," Robinson said.

Councilman Lopez said in the next few weeks the city will install a three-way stop at the intersection of Hickory Grove and Meadow Knoll Drive.

They will also add a four-way stop at the intersection of Hickory Grove and Canyon Ridge Drive, which should also slow the traffic down as drivers head into the curve.

The city is planning more safety improvements to the neighborhood over the coming months.

According to Lopez, the next phase of the project calls for replacing an old pedestrian bridge that spans a drainage ditch that is used by John Jay High School students every day.

The city also plans to make improvements to the drainage ditch which should reduce flooding issues.

Upgrades will be made to the sidewalks to make them handicapped accessible and make the neighborhood more pedestrian friendly. Residents like what they see so far.

"There's a lot of traffic out there to pick up the kids and drop them off and it gets kind of crowded and it's probably better that way," Ernest Montoya said, referring to the upcoming improvements.

Lopez said the final price tag for all the projects is expected to be about $200,000. Montoya said it's money well spent.

"I've been living here about 43 years and we need these bumps here," Montoya said. "I don't particularly like the speed bumps because I have to go over them, but they are necessary to protect our neighbors properties."

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.


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