Erik Moellering‘s emails with various city officials go back about a year. Thomas Wagner‘s go back even further. Both Malvern Hills-area residents are concerned about cut-through traffic in their neighborhood. Before an 8-year-old girl was struck by a car on Dec. 1, both residents had warned city officials of the potential danger. Some of these residents met with Xpress at Malvern Hills Park, just yards away from where the accident occurred.
The city responded with a variety of studies, which led to a new four-way stop at the intersection of Salola and Carrier streets.
The stop sign has helped somewhat but has not slowed traffic appreciably, say Wagner, Moellering and other residents. It is not uncommon to see cars speeding through the neighborhood as they bypass the Patton Avenue and Haywood Road bottlenecks, they say. “We see a lot of construction trucks, contractors, guys like that,” says Wagner. “A lot more than could be working around here.”
As the men sat in the park, a Papa John’s pizza-delivery car zipped down the street. “Pretty fast,” said Wagner, “I called the store [on Patton Avenue] to tell them. I mean, I get they have to use the street, especially the pizza guy, but there is a park here, and well, a child was hit here last week.”
The injured girl was taken to Mission Hospital and is going to recover. “But what about the next time?” asked David Mosrie, a resident of Rumbough Place, which provides access to the community swimming pool and park parking lot. “Whose kid is next?”
Rumbough Place is sort of unique from a traffic and quality-of-life standpoint. It becomes one-way in the summer when the pool is open. “We all have had to get cars towed out of our driveway,” says Wagner. “Sometimes the trash does not get picked up. I have had people move my trash can to park in my driveway.”
“The traffic seems to be avoiding areas they know are congested,” Moellering added. “Brevard Road, Haywood Road, Patton Avenue, Leicester Highway, everyone knows those roads are clogged certain times of day. People need to remember this is still a neighborhood and have a little respect.”
“We want to help, to be creative, saidKen Putnam, the city’s transportation director, when Xpress later asked about residents’ concerns. “The reality remains, of course, money is tight. We will do what we can to answer their concerns.”
If you have some input, or want to contact the organizers, you can reach them at MalvernHillsWatch@gmail.com.