Tag Archives: bad drivers

Van vs. light pole on Beacon Avenue

This light pole was knocked down by a van Thursday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Angela Castañeda, Beacon Hill Merchants Association.

Reported yesterday (Thursday, June 28) on the Beacon Hill Merchants Facebook page:

Unneighborly neighbor, potential tragedy averted: At approximately 3:10pm this afternoon a group of summer camp kids and another smaller group of middle school boys were walking toward the library when this once lovely light pole was knocked flat behind them by a large camper van. One boy said he felt the swoosh of air as it fell behind him. The man and woman were said to be hanging out there for a while, possibly arguing and drinking, before they rammed the pole as they pulled away from the curb.

Your dear Merchants staff gathered data, provided details to SPD and reported to City Light. In no time Dan and Scott from City Light’s emergency crew were onsite to disconnect wires and make the sidewalk safe again. Thanks guys!

(Thanks to Angela Castañeda for the scoop!)

Walker Street Stairway attacked by marauding SUV

This is not a through street.
by David Gackenbach

Neighbors in the area of 17th Avenue South and South Walker Street on North Beacon Hill were awakened late Thursday night by the sudden sound of metal grinding on metal followed by the long honk of a car horn.

Not knowing if something had fallen out of the sky nearby, one neighbor at the top of the stairway looked around the house in the dark, saw nothing, and went back to bed.

It wasn’t till daylight that the point of impact and projectile were discovered. A dark green Ford Explorer took a wild ride down the Walker Street Stairs, from the cul-de-sac near 16th Avenue, down to 17th Avenue and across into the cul-de-sac above the stairway to 18th Avenue.

Along the way the SUV broke some railing, bottomed out at the midway landing, then annihilated the steel guardrail and neighborhood bulletin board at the bottom. The impact was enough to rip the guardrail out of the ground, break up the concrete sidewalk it was anchored into, and send a chunk of concrete clear across 17th Avenue to the east. The SUV bounced onto the planting strip, went up the sidewalk (missing parked cars) and stopped when it hit a neighbor’s tree.

Injuries to the driver appear to be minor, as she was seen being helped away by friends with a van, who also pushed the Explorer out of a driveway and to the side of the road. Whether the damaged SUV will be towed by the owner or the city as an abandoned vehicle remains to be seen.

Neighbors recalled that a similar incident happened about ten years ago, but the car was smaller.

(All photos by David Gackenbach.)

Damage to the sidewalk, bulletin board, and stairway.
The SUV left quite a mark.
The guardrail and sidewalk were ripped out.

View Walker Street Stairway in a larger map

Opinion: Alley speeders need to slow down

(Do you have something to say? Send an emailed letter or opinion piece to the BHB editors. You must sign your full name and address for your letter/opinion piece to be published.)

by Jennifer Zwick

I live on 14th and South Hinds Street, an area right by the freeway exit. People often drive very fast on this almost one-lane neighborhood street, in order to cut down to the freeway (thus bypassing 15th and therefore saving seconds of time). Since we don’t have sidewalks, and the road has two curves, it is very dangerous—poor visibility, and literally nowhere for pedestrians to go.

When even this shortcut takes too long, they also often bypass even 14th/South Hinds Street, and instead cut at high speeds through my alley. This is even worse, since it’s very narrow and abuts right next to all property—and of course, no alley sidewalks as well.

A few days ago, I was walking in the alley to my house (I take the alley due to lack of street sidewalks) when a man, smoking and driving a silver Lexus SUV, sped towards me up the alley from the freeway. Please keep in mind that I am very obviously pregnant, which makes me slower than normal. Regardless, apparently this short pregnant pedestrian didn’t move out of “his” way fast enough, so, barely stopping, he rolled his window down and shouted “this road is for cars.” No sir, it is not. It is an alley. It is for property access. There are actual roads to the left and right of this alley. This kind of thing is, unfortunately, common.

I feel this is very unsafe but don’t know what to do. My dream would involve a speedbump or two in the alley to prevent speeding impolite people shaving off fractions of a second of their drive by taking the alley instead of a road, and sidewalks on the curved stretch of South Hinds Street.

(Anyone have any advice for Jennifer? We suggested that she check out the SDOT Neighborhood Traffic Operations: Traffic Calming Program website, but we hope some of you have better advice.)