Wichita residents get creative in effort to stop speeders

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A group of Wichita residents is taking on speeding drivers one creative sign at a time.

As kids play and birds sing in Wichita’s North Riverside neighborhood, residents say cars speed by.

“I see it frequently. It feels like people are going 40 to 50 mph,” said North Riverside Neighborhood Association Vice President Sharon Powell Quincy.

Powell Quincy has lived in North Riverside near downtown Wichita for about 25 years. She describes the area as quirky and peaceful, except when she witnesses drivers speeding up and down her street.

“I want them to know that we want people to drive as carefully through our neighborhood as they want to drive through their neighborhoods,” Powell Quincy said. “We have children, we have cats, we have dogs, elderly people and sometimes we don’t have sidewalks, so lots of pedestrians are using the streets for walking and walking their pets.”

In early May, police said a driver hit and killed a woman as she was jogging in the neighborhood. While investigators said speed was not a factor in the incident, it prompted Powell Quincy and her neighbors to take action.

During a recent meeting, Powell Quincy and other neighbors asked city officials if they could put in traffic calming measures in the area like speed bumps. A city official told KSN the city council passed a policy in the 1980’s doing away with speed bumps. The official also said there are more cons than pros when it comes to speed bumps citing how they can slow down emergency response vehicles. Powell Quincy said after that conversation with the city, she and her neighbors decided to get creative.

“‘Please slow down’ is the name of the campaign,” she said.

The campaign is meant to bring attention to speeding in the area. Powell Quincy is recruiting her neighbors to make and place homemade signs saying things like ‘we watch for speeders’ and ‘speed limit = 30 mph’ in their yards along the street.

Wichita police have also gotten on board with the campaign. Officers have increased patrols in the area.

“We can’t solve everything, obviously. Neighborhoods can’t always solve everything, but working together, it shows we get things accomplished,” said Wichita Police Officer Steve Jerrell.

The neighborhood association is encouraging residents to put up signs for Memorial Day weekend. If you want to put up a sign, officials recommend residents to place the sign away from the city easement. Signs must be roughly 10 to 15 feet back from the curb.


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