Man and his dog are nearly hit by drivers weekly: 'This is not a speedway; it’s a road'

Richmond plans to install enhanced pedestrian safety measures at 35 intersections
Michael Summers and Buddy
Posted at 6:18 PM, May 18, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Michael Summers and his dog Buddy take daily walks through South Richmond, but their routine is unsettled in a big way.

Even though the intersection of Warwick Road and Hopkins Road is clearly marked, Summers said drivers create close calls for them almost every week.

Summers reached out to city leaders and police, but contacted the CBS 6 Problem Solvers to hopefully spread the word that drivers need to slow down and respect walkers and cyclists.

"I have to be very careful with him because the drivers around here don’t respect us when we’re in the crosswalks with the signal," Summers said. "In front, behind, I’ve almost been hit head on. We step off the curb to go when we get the signal light, and people will cut around in front of us.”

Michael Summers and Buddy
Michael Summers and Buddy

"It makes me angry. I shout out them and tell them to learn the rules of the road! I’ve got the right of way, and I point to the sign," he continued. "I thought they taught that in driving school or in the booklet.”

Summers reported the issues he's seen to city councilwoman Reva Trammell, who put him contact with Richmond Police. Summers said he's noticed increased patrols during rush hour.

During an interview with Trammell Thursday on Bells Road, a vehicle revved its engine and sped nearby.

"Exactly. You see what I’m talking about. They go about 80 miles per hour through here," Trammell said.

Richmond City Councilwoman Reva Trammell
Richmond City Councilwoman Reva Trammell

Although it happens all through the city, Trammel said speeding and distracted drivers plague South Richmond, at a time when the number pedestrians hit in the region as a whole is on the rise, according to advocacy groups.

"How many more lives have to be lost? Why don’t you slow down. Do you understand, maybe you will survive, but the person you hit, their loved ones have to go bury them," Trammell said.

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The city is planning to install enhanced pedestrian safety measures at 35 intersections in the coming months, and at least a dozen of them are in South Richmond.

Those measures include high visibility crosswalks, accessible ramps, and placing pedestrian countdown signals at intersections that don't have them right now.

Summers said improving markings and increased traffic patrols can only go so far. At some point, he said the onus must land on drivers.

"This is not a speedway, it’s a road," he said. “The city’s not lacking, they’re trying. It’s just if the public would cooperate and slow down... I want to live a few more years, and so does my dog, so give us some space.”

Michael Summers and Buddy
Michael Summers and Buddy

The city project include the following intersections:

Arthur Ashe Blvd & Ellen Rd/Robin Hood Rd Arthur Ashe Blvd & Grace St
Arthur Ashe Blvd & Grove Ave
Arthur Ashe Blvd & Main St
Bells Rd & Castlewood Rd
Broad Rock Blvd & Walmsley Blvd
Broad Rock Blvd & Warwick Rd
Broad Rock Rd & Holly Springs Ave/32nd St Cary St & 4th St
Cary St & 10th St
Cary St & Laurel St
Cary St & Linden St
Chamberlayne Ave & Laburnum Ave Chamberlayne Ave & North Ave/Claremont Ave Chamberlayne Ave & Westwood Ave
Cowardin Ave & Bainbridge St
Ellwood Ave & Thompson St
Hermitage Rd & Westbrook Ave
Hull St & 15th St
Hull St & 20th St
Hull St & 32nd St
Hull St & Broad Rock Rd
Hull St & Midlothian TP / Clopton St Leigh St & Harrison St
Main St & 1st St
Main St & 3rd St
Main St & 4th St
Main St & 13th St/Governor St Main St & Adams St
Main St & Meadow St
Main St & Robinson St
Main St & Strawberry St/Addison St
Mechanicsville Trpk & Fairfield Ave
Richmond Hwy & Lamberts Ave
Richmond Hwy & Terminal Ave

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