Oak Park Drive gets new safety measures

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 6, 2017

New safety measures have been installed at the roundabout on Oak Park Drive after some residents of the area say they’ve narrowly avoided wrecks.

“It’s very important to us that those using it for through traffic use it in a safe manner,” Reeves said. “There’s been work done on the roundabout and an additional stop sign being added.”

Onna Helms, who lives in one of the three houses in the area, said she has had several near misses due to the new through traffic associated with the city’s connector road project.

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“The biggest problem is that some people are thinking it’s the motocross speedway and not taking any consideration that there’s children and pets here,” Helms said. “I’m excited about the new road; I think it provides great access for all of us. I just wish people would understand this is a residential neighborhood even though there are only three houses here.”

One of Helms’ neighbors Angel Phelps said she has also nearly wrecked at the roundabout multiple times.

“Some people here are not familiar with how to use a roundabout,” Phelps said. “Other people would come through and thought they had the right-of-way, some people went through it backwards; it’s very dangerous. It will take some people some time to get adjusted.

“I do think putting in the concrete barriers and additional signage will help make it more clear. Roundabouts are a good thing if they’re used correctly.”

Phelps added that she wished the stop sign and improvements had been put in place before opening the road.

Reeves said the installation of the concrete barriers and signage were part of the long-term plan as well as being a response to feedback.

“It’s part of trying to make the road as safe as possible as it becomes more and more popular for vehicle use,” Reeves said. “I think the long-term plan had been to place a stop sign there as development occurred. I think that’s in response to concerns, but also to make it more uniform.”

Helms said the traffic issues are also hampering attempts to sell her home.

“My house is up for sale, not because of the new road, but people won’t look here because it’s a cut-through road, so the city needed to do something to slow traffic down, Helms said. “I want everyone to enjoy the road, but you’ve got to take into consideration this is still a subdivision. That’s what people don’t understand.”