Citizens concerned with fast drivers

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 27, 2004

Please slow down in our neighbor. 27 residents of Chickasaw Street in Demopolis near the schools of Westside Elementary and West Alabama Preparatory have signed a petition in order to have their street made part of the already existing school zone.

One of the residents who signed the petition Anthony Colburn said that he’s happy with what the city has done so far to help solve this problem, but it’s not the best answer to it.

“I would like to thank the City of Demopolis for what they’ve already done, but it is just a temporary fix to a permanent problem,” Colburn said.

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Another one of the Chickasaw Street residents Mary Ann Tanner agrees with Colburn about the problem is basically people speeding coming to and from school. Tanner said this has always been a problem even back when my children were little, I would have to sit out on the front porch just to make sure they were safe.

“Where my house is if they are coming down the street they are going slow, but coming up the street they are usually speeding,” Tanner said.

Colburn has already taking a copy of the letter that was written and signed by all 27 residents to Mayor Austin Caldwell, Director of Public Safety/Police Chief Jeff Manuel and the members of the Demopolis City Council.

The letter that was given to all of these Demopolis officials reads as follows:

We, the residents of Chickasaw Street, are very concerned about the safety of the children in our community. I’m sure you have received numerous complaints about the excessive speeding within the residential zone of Chickasaw Street. Our children can’t play in the front yards of our homes because of the risks to their safety. We must all work together to protect our children. Children unfortunately have a tendency to expect that vehicles will be watching out for them. This is why we believe that it’s urgent that we try to get all motorists to slow down in school zones and residential areas where children are playing.

As residents of Chickasaw Street, we are proposing that the city designate Chickasaw Street as part of the school zone in our area. Traffic leaving both public and private schools exit the area via Chickasaw Street. Due to the amount of traffic on this street during the times schools enter and dismiss, it seems sensible to add this area to the current school zone. We also think some additional preventive measures should be taken. Although some city streets in Demopolis have speed bumps or breakers we were told they were a liability to the city.

A good investment for the city would be to purchase a trailer mounted speed detection device and place it in school zones periodically. Another idea is for you to announce to the media that the city now has a zero tolerance for speeding in school zones and areas where “Children Playing” signs are posted. This will get some much-needed publicity about the problem of speeding in our residential areas and school zones. We feel it is incumbent upon the total community to take special care to watch out for children by getting involved in making our school and residential zones safer. We must never say we have done enough as long as one child is at risk.

Speed limits in school zones and residential areas are posted, and by law are required to be enforced. The reduced speed limit was enacted to save lives of children by making the school and residential zones safer. It is the responsibility of each municipality to enforce this law.

We, the residents of Chickasaw Street, pledge to do all in our power to make certain that these speed limits are enforced, but can’t do it without the help of the city. We hope that you, the Mayor, Director of Public Safety/Police Chief and City Council will join with us to protect the lives of our children.