SAN ANTONIO – It’s happened five times now. And each time, Gladys Cantu is thankful no one was hurt, but grows more frustrated that the problem persists of cars plowing into her backyard and mowing down her fence.
“It’s scary,” she said. “I’m here to protect my daughter and I can’t even do that.”
Cantu lives off of South Presa Street where Mission Shadow curves into Mission Brook.
Five times drivers have taken the curve along Mission Shadow -- which borders the parking lot and playground of Mission Academy -- and careered into the fence surrounding Cantu’s backyard.
“The first one happened a couple of years ago -- like two years ago,” Cantu said. “But in the past six months, it has happened four more times.”
Each time, Cantu has repaired or replaced her fence costing her several thousand dollars.
At least once, a car has come just feet from hitting her home.
“You see kids come through here and people going to the track and exercising,” she said. “It’s just dangerous not only for me, but everybody in the neighborhood."
The crashes don’t seem to have a pattern, Cantu said. They have occurred during the day, at night, when the road is slick and when it’s dry.
She also said they have happened more often after a double yellow line was painted on the street.
The city said the painted lines have been along the curved road since 2009, although they have likely been refreshed over the years.
Cantu and her daughter are now afraid to enjoy their backyard.
"She doesn’t want to come outside,” she said. “Usually we have a pool and a trampoline and we can’t even do that because you don’t know if something is going to happen.”
The city studied the area and determined a guardrail was not the solution. The city’s Transportation and Capital Improvements Department said a guardrail could cause life-threatening injuries to a driver who crashes into it.
TCI maintains the road has appropriate signage and markings, but the department plans to install raised reflectors along the yellow lines to encourage drivers to obey signals and speed limits.
Cantu worries that’s just not enough.
“They said they were going to do more patrolling but that’s not really going to stop anybody from jumping the curb,” she said.