Many people have a need for speed, but not the folks who live on Rice Road in East San Antonio. The city has taken four speed humps away from their street and they are fighting back.
On Wednesday, neighbors installed about two dozen yard signs warning speedsters to slow down.
The signs announce that cameras are watching and one woman who lives on the street said that her mailbox camera routinely catches drivers doing 80 on this residential street.
Deborah Collins said that after some thefts in the area, she installed a security camera on her mailbox. She has not caught thieves, but she said she routinely catches people speeding.
“I see them zipping by. They're like a blur and I think something has to be done,” Collins said. “Every morning children walk by going to school and I'm scared someone will slip. If someone swerves, they could hit a child or an animal or hit somebody's house. And up the street by the nursing home, people hardly ever stop for the people to go into the nursing home."
Staff at the Normandy Terrace Healthcare and Rehab Center agree that slow-moving guests at the facility are often at risk.
The neighbors say that the trouble started when the city resurfaced the street. They say that four speed humps were removed and the devices were supposed to be replaced when the job was done. But about the same time, a brand new fire station came online just up the street at the corner of Rice Road and South W.W. White. Neighbors were told that the humps were not going to be replaced because of safety concerns for emergency responders.
Neighbor Dan Martinez says that he has researched the issue and he believes the city’s excuse is just that.
“Their axles are much wider than regular vehicles and the specs for speed humps indicate that emergency vehicles do not have to slow down because they can straddle the speed humps and go right on by,” said Martinez, who added that neighbors feel duped. “They gave us excuses. But the excuses were not valid. In effect, they lied to us and they kept perpetrating that lie and that is not satisfactory. We want the speed humps back because we paid with taxpayer money for them and we want them back! End of story!”
While they wait for answers from the city, neighbors say that the signs seem to be making a difference, but they fear the slow-down will be short-lived.
The city said that the speed humps will not return, so as a compromise they have offered to install electronic flashing beacons that tell drivers how fast they are traveling on both ends of the busy thoroughfare.
Neighbors say that the solution can’t come fast enough.