Several residents of Prospect Street near Sommer Avenue in Maplewood presented a petition to the Maplewood Township Committee on Tuesday night asking for the town to assess the intersection and find a remedy for the many accidents that occur there.
Prospect at Sommer is known to many locals for the sharpness of the curve, a situation that has resulted in numerous vehicles missing the turn and ending up against trees, on lawns and, in at least one case, striking a house and causing structural damage.
As a result, residents say they do not let their children play in their yards and are fearful to do yard work.
“We are grateful that up to this point no one has been seriously injured, but at some point it is likely that a pedestrian will be hit or someone will be catastrophically injured in a vehicle. Please take action on this problem before it is too late,” read the petition, which is signed by authors Inken Finnamore, Alison Grant and Tami Benson-Romano.
Read the full petition here:
We are writing to you to express our concerns about the excessive number of vehicle accidents that occur on Prospect Street at the curve near Sommer Avenue. In addition to the accidents there are daily episodes of drivers careening dangerously around the corner despite the suggested 15 mile per hour posted speed. Residents in this area are concerned about the safety of the many children walking to nearby Tuscan school as well as all area schools. We are also concerned about and have experienced damage to our property.
Some recent examples include:
September 19, 2014. Vehicle crashed into a tree in front of 707 Prospect St.
September 6, 2014: Vehicle crashed into wooden garden wall at 709 Prospect St.
March 30, 2014: Vehicle hits tree and curb and flips over into driveway of 707/709 Prospect St.
Feb 5, 2014 – Car hits tree in front of 705 Prospect St.
July 22, 2012: Car crashes onto lawn at 705 Prospect St.
Damaged Trees on Prospect St. – You can easily see that these trees have been damaged over and over again.
- Tree in front of 709 Prospect Street
- Left tree in front of 707 Prospect Street
- Right tree in front of 707 Prospect Street
- Tree in front of 705 Prospect Street
In addition to these documented instances, there have been multiple events when cars have hit the trees in front of 705, 707 and 709 Prospect Street or come up on the front lawns of those homes. Some of those instances have resulted in police involvement (for example: dates July 22, 2011, July 9, 2009, June 5, 2009 police reports were saved) and some have not. There was also an accident where a vehicle hit the home at 697 Prospect St, damaging the structure. The home at 49 Sommer Avenue was hit several years ago. Just look at the damage to the trees lining the southwest side of Prospect Street to understand the frequency and severity of these events.
One of the consequences of these many car accidents is the destruction and removal of several of the yellow arrow signs that mark the curve in front of 705 Prospect Street. At one time there were 4 signs, however 2 have not been replaced and one is knocked at an angle that prevents it from being seen by traffic. We respectfully request that this immediately be remedied. We would also like to request an assessment and plan by the Township Engineer to address our concerns.
As a result of these incidences our children cannot play in their yards, we have to be fearful when we do yard work and worry when we send our children off to school. In addition, the impact of the repeated accidents has resulted in an abnormal level of reactive stress when we hear the screeching of a car careening around the bend. We are grateful that up to this point no one has been seriously injured, but at some point it is likely that a pedestrian will be hit or someone will be catastrophically injured in a vehicle. Please take action on this problem before it is too late.
We are available to assist you in any way we can.
Representing the Tuscan Prospect Neighborhood Association: