Slow down or else!

August 18, 2009 4:23:43 AM PDT
Some residents of Durham's Duke Park neighborhood are upset about speeding vehicles, and they are not going to take it anymore.In a letter issued to the media, a group of neighbors expressed its concern about speeding and their frustration with the City of Durham.

The group says it is disappointed that the city no longer funds or promotes the PACE Car program.

Eyewitness News featured a story about that program in April 2007.

Click here to read more.

Duke Park residents say city vehicles are partially to blame for speeding traffic on residential streets. In their letter, they name garbage trucks and DATA buses as habitual violators.

In response to what the residents call a disregard for posted speed limits, they have posted signs of their own in strategic locations throughout the city.

The purpose of the signs is to make speeders aware that they are threatening neighborhood safety and to inform the City of Durham that the problem can't go on ignored.

Eyewitness News took a photograph of one of the signs Monday morning located in a traffic circle at West Markham and Glendale avenues.

It reads," Warning: Speed limit enforced by angry neighbors with paintball guns."

"I think it's just pure bluff!" exclaimed neighbor Harold Scroggs. "I really do. I don't think anybody in this neighborhood would shoot with a paintball gun!"

Scroggs said he sees speeders drive past his home. "But I just turn around and say, 'Hey, slow it down!' And sometimes it works."

The residents behind the sign campaign worry when they see speeders like the one who drove along East Trinity recently.

"Didn't bother to slow down for the kids, and just laid on his horn and sort of went around them," angry neighbor Moe Rivera said. "And the kids just hopped off their bikes. They were shook; they were about that close from getting hit!"

Rivera is one of at least 15 people in the neighborhood who back the paintball warning idea.

And while the message on the sign is clear, the group did not mention enforcement with paintball guns in their letter.

"We're trying our hardest to slow down speeders," Rivera said. "The City has been working with us."

But someone, who is clearly frustrated with the way speeders ignore traffic calming devices like a traffic circle, hopes the signs will at least catch the speeders' attention and maybe make them think twice.

"Hopefully, yes," Rivera said. "We want people to be mindful of how fast they're going."

According to Rivera, the paintball warning supporters will storm city council soon, supporting the man who made the signs.

Rivera said he knows the neighbor who put the signs up, and he is avoiding cameras for now.

"He is an angry neighbor, like myself," he said. "And hopefully, it'll make an impact."


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