Photo: Courtesy Leah Maderal
Update (May 18, 12:20): County staff corrected an earlier mistyped statement. The years studied for accidents have been corrected. --Editor.
A two-car accident took out a fence near a school bus stop in the Maywood neighborhood yesterday morning. Although no one was hurt in the accident and police did not issue citations, residents are crying foul over an intersection they say is dangerous.
The intersection of N. 21st Avenue and N. Monroe Street is zoned 25 mph, and looks as sleepy as the rest of this historic neighborhood. But residents say it is a commuter cut-through, and with condominiums under construction just a block away, they fear the increased traffic will only create more accidents.
Leah Maderal who lives nearby said she did not see the accident and does not blame either driver: The intersection is the problem. Monroe Street and others connect Lee Hwy to N. Lorcom Lane, and from there to Spout Run and the G.W. Parkway. People driving along N. 21st have stop signs, while Monroe Street does not.
It is dangerous even when everyone is trying to follow the rules, she said. She and other neighbors are worried about the children who play in the area, and school buses for several schools stop at that corner.
She said a neighbor was driving one of the cars that was in yesterday’s accident. Though she did not see him yesterday morning, she has seen him many times drive through that intersection.
“He stops, and he does the ‘ooch’,” she said. The “ooch” is when a driver stops at the sign and then creeps out, little-by-little, into the intersection to look for traffic. By the time the driver is out far enough to see oncoming traffic, the car is also in harm’s way, she said.
Although a tree is in the way on one corner, both Maderal and neighbor Jim Anderson said the stop signs are back too far. Trees or no, seeing fully into the intersection from the stop sign is impossible. Plus, the streets do not meet at a perfect crossing. Northbound Monroe jogs just slightly to the left as it crosses over 21st Avenue.
“People who live here know it’s dangerous,” Maderal said.
Anderson, who lives on that corner, said the intersection gets a lot of cut-through commuter traffic. He said he has seen cars speed through that street regularly. He said he has heard about county reports and studies that recommend against a four-way stop, “but it doesn’t mean they’re right,” he said.