Parents call Problem Solvers over drivers and roads near Richmond school: 'It's a death trap'

Posted at 5:34 PM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 17:34:47-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The President of the Mary Munford PTA has planned a Walk-to-School rally to raise awareness about unsafe walking conditions for students due to drivers and busy roads around the school.

Katherine Jones and her children saw the remnants of a serious crash at the corner of Westmoreland Street and Cary Street while walking to school Thursday morning.

Photographs and video showed a flipped vehicle that landed in a yard on Cary Street.

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Homeowner Andrew Breton has two children who attend Munford, a school located in the middle of four intersections, which include Westmoreland and Cary, Westmoreland and Grove Avenue, Grove and Commonwealth, and Cary and Commonwealth Ave, in Richmond's West End.

"It's a death trap," Breton said about the roads near the school. "This school-crossing intersection is at the junction of two major roads, is four lanes wide, and has no traffic signal. My neighbors walk this exact stretch of sidewalk to school every single morning during this exact same time frame. Thank God they came just a few minutes later today."

Jones said she's been in direct communication with members of Richmond's Department of Public Works since 2017 about her concerns. She's also spoken with Richmond City Councilman Andreas Addison and Richmond School Board Member Liz Doerr.

Jones said she was "frustrated with lack of action."

She reached out to the CBS6 Problem Solvers because she said it's time the city took real action to improve public safety around Munford and other schools in Richmond.

Addison said he has "lowered speed limits, installed traffic calming speed tables and signage with minimal positive response."

"Drivers are ignoring posted speed limits and laws," he said.

"Signs and speeding tickets will not make us safer," Brenton said. "People drive at the speed that feels safe to them. The roads need physical traffic-calming measures such as reduced lanes, narrower lanes, speed bumps, curb bump-outs, and traffic signals."

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Addison said City Council has put in several requests to the city for radar speed enforcement cameras in school zones, and even funded them in the budget, yet they still haven't been installed after he said they "were promised prior to the start of the school year."

Addison's office is looking into why they haven't been installed yet.

Jones' Walk-to-School rally is scheduled for October 26.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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