Triangle resident fed up with speeding, urges call to action

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Homeowners push for change
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A group of homeowners are tired of drivers speeding past their homes.

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- Two years ago, Durham County resident Michael Murtha moved into a home in the 5100 block of Leesville Road; little did he know, his home has a history of falling victim to car crashes.

In the past five years, his home has been struck by vehicles three separate times.

Those crashes were caused by speeding drivers, and this caused Murtha to submit a post to Nextdoor requesting support for a petition to lower the speed limit from its current 45 miles per hour limit to 35 miles per hour.

"Most people they come around the curve (near my home) and they gun it," Murtha said. "A lot of times they come into these curves going faster."

Since his post, a handful of neighbors have given their support for signing the petition, with others who offered ideas supporting other speed-reducing options.

Some said 35 miles per hour was too slow and that people would speed regardless.

If homeowners have no luck changing speeds, Murtha suggests, "A speed trap or a camera up clocking people."

The father of a newborn baby boy believes those options would deter drivers from neglecting the speed limit. "If you see a sign that has your speed on it and you're going too fast, you may be more likely to slow down."

Several residents told ABC11 they saw Durham County Sheriff's deputies positioned along Leesville Road between US-70 and Del Webb Arbors Drive "clocking drivers".

However, no one witnessed any tickets handed out because drivers weren't going so fast over the limit to warrant a ticket.

Murtha is worried about the drivers, but even more so about his family. "Once my son starts walking around and we start spending more time outside," he said before stopping himself. "I don't want to be held hostage in my backyard rather than being able to hang out in my front yard. I like to hang out on the porch. Sit on the swing. And it does worry me that cars are coming down (the street) flying too fast."

The stretch of Leesville Road that residents hope to change is serviced by the NCDOT.

A representative responded to ABC11's request for comment saying, "The location is in Durham County and the usual process to lower a speed limit is for citizens to contact the local traffic office (in this case, NDOT-Division 5) with the request. The request will then lead to a study looking at average speeds, crash history, traffic volume, etc. at the location. The process can take several weeks."