Neighbors fed up with speedy drivers on 17th Avenue, voicing concerns to city officials

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Residents of the Lakebottom and St. Elmo neighborhoods are fed up with speedy drivers and have now taken their concerns to the city. 

The usually quiet neighborhoods have had some unwelcome visitors:  Drivers who don’t pay attention to the stop signs. 

Neighbors are especially concerned about the intersection of 23rd Street and 17th Avenue, which has been the location of multiple car accidents. The dangerous intersection has a two-way stop, but reckless drivers rarely slow down when coasting down the hill. 

“18th Avenue does have a four-way stop and then down at St. Elmo’s School they’ve got the roundabout…. which those two items slow the traffic down,” resident Doug McLeod said. “But we have nothing on 17th Avenue to slow traffic down.”

McLeod says solutions could include a four way stop or traffic cameras. Additional speed markers could also help to remind drivers of the speed limit.

Neighbors have resorted to putting up their own signs in the hopes of slowing drivers down. The signs say things like “Slow down. This is a neighborhood, not a racetrack,” and “Drive like your kids live here.” Unfortunately, they say the signs aren’t working. 

McLeod has reached out to city officials to bring change to his neighborhood, but the city’s evaluation of the street may take time. 

Donna Newman, Director of Engineering for the City of Columbus, gave the following statement: 

“17th Avenue is one of the streets we have engaged our consultant to do a Corridor Study. Speeding is one of the elements that will be studied and addressed if necessary. The process will take up to a year to complete. The public will be involved during the study.” 

Neighbors, however, want change to be made before it’s too late. 

“You don’t want to wait until somebody is killed,” McLeod said. “That’s the thing about it. I realize that 17th Avenue is not the only avenue and the only problem in Columbus… and I’m all for Columbus, I think we have a great city council, we have a great mayor…. but something needs to be done. Surely they could see a need.”

McLeod says he and his neighbors will continue contacting their city officials until they can feel safe in their neighborhood once more. 

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