Speed Busters: Residents worry about speeders near Wellswood neighborhood

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — People living on a Tampa street along the Hillsborough River are worried about speeders in their neighborhood.

The speedy road is River View Avenue. It’s nestled just outside of the Wellswood neighborhood between MLK Boulevard and Woodlawn Avenue.

Despite having speed tables on River View Avenue, residents say it remains dangerous and speeders are prevalent. So, Leslee grabbed her speed buster gun and checked it out.

Michele Reitenauer is a home nurse who cares for a Pierce, who is wheelchair-bound.

“There’s a lot of traffic on this street pretty much all the time,” she said.

Reitenauer also says cars travel at high rates of speed, despite the speed limit being 25 mph.

So, Leslee took a look at the most recent traffic study completed in this area, which was in April of 2016.

It showed there was not a significant speeding problem, but the volume of vehicles had increased. The city answered by installing a directional sign as well as enhanced traffic signs to help the residents.

Then, Leslee took her speed gun to the neighborhood. When Leslee aimed her radar gun, she found when vehicles approached the speed tables they definitely slowed down, but less than two blocks away from the tables, near Woodlawn, they were going much faster. She clocked some cars going in the upper 30s, including 38 mph.

Leslee also returned at 3 p.m. and clocked two vehicles going 40 mph just outside the speed tables after only speed busting for 15 minutes.

Matt Nassiff is a resident who is frustrated with the speeding. He blames the speeding and bad driving on people using his street as a shortcut to avoid busy Armenia Avenue. Matt cited the City of Tampa study saying, “If it’s not a cut through again, where are 3,000 cars coming from every single day?”

Residents expressed additional safety concerns with River View Avenue. There are at least four wheelchair-bound people who must use the street for travel, and there are no sidewalks.

Reitenauer must take Pierce on a required walk every day. She must travel on River View Avenue to get to safer streets. She says cars coming behind her do not stop. Instead, they will pass her on a double yellow line and sometimes there is oncoming traffic, which makes it very scary.

Leslee witnessed this happen to another wheelchair bound person, just after she described what happens.

Leslee took these concerns to Jean Duncan, the Transportation Director for the City of Tampa. She says her department will work with operations and place a 25 mph speed sign on the pavement. And they will process a sidewalk petition that the residents are working on. She also said she will reach out to the Tampa Police Department to increase enforcement on the street. And of course, Leslee will follow up on those promises.

If you have a speeding concern in your neighborhood contact Leslee on her @WFLALeslee Facebook page and she can bring Speed Busters to you.

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