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Grove Avenue resident wants measures taken to deter speeders

Posted at 6:37 PM, Apr 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-21 18:37:15-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Shawn MacMeekin lives on Grove Avenue near Mary Munford Elementary School. Working from home daily, he says he’s seen his share of drivers speeding through his neighborhood. He’s worried about the students who walk to and from school.

"It’s a safety factor on this road and you get real nervous. There's no way I'd let any kid of mine just walk down the street here. It’s so busy and so fast," MacMeekin said.

He said recent accidents in this particular stretch have shaken them. A week ago, there was a fatal accident that claimed the life of noted author, historian and former U. S. diplomat Elizabeth Brown Pryor.

Exactly one week after that fatal crash, MacMeekin says they saw another driver’s car get T-boned in that same area near Grove Avenue and Commonwealth Drive.

That particular afternoon he became concerned when he didn’t see a crossing guard when school let out and students started walking home.

“There were two officers tending to the accident, but kids were coming out of school trying to get home,” the frustrated dad explained. “They were darting across the street and I saw no crossing guard on duty. Kids were going across the street and cars were just blasting by even with police sitting on the side.”

A spokesperson with the Richmond Police Department says that they have a designated guard assigned to that particular intersection at Grove Avenue and Commonwealth Drive.

Spokesperson Gene Lepley said they are support officers and not sworn police.

MacMeekin said he now plans to contact his City Council representative to see what it would take to install a traffic light or other safety features at what he considers to be a troubled intersection.

“One thing that would definitely help would be getting speed bumps,” MacMeekin explained. “We need something that would jar drivers and they would say we hit a school zone, maybe I should slow down."

CBS 6 News contacted the Department of Public Works in Richmond. Spokesperson Sharon North tells us that’s the best start for these concerned neighbors.

She suggested contacting the City Council person and showing there’s community support for a safety change. From there, the city would likely conduct a traffic study, and then determine what, if anything needs to be done.