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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.)