Overgrown grass turns intersection into traffic hazard on Detroit's east side

Intersection of Gable Street, Mound Road is becoming dangerous

DETROIT – Overgrown grass has turned an intersection on Detroit's east side from a nuisance to a traffic danger for anyone who has to cross.

The problem has popped up in spots around the city. Grass near busy intersections is growing dangerously tall, making it difficult for people to see oncoming cars.

On Friday, Local 4 showed viewers a patch of tall grass on the city's west side that was causing problems, but a spot on Gable Street near Mound Road might be even worse.

Neighbors who live near the field in the middle of northeast Detroit said they're worried about safety.

"You can't even walk on the sidewalk," resident Kina Wesson said. "People could hide in there and jump out and could stab you."

Empty lots are common in the neighborhood, with overgrown grass and weeds standing waist-high or higher.

"It's close to 4 1/2 to 5 feet," Wesson said.

Residents said the tall grass is not just an eyesore. They said accidents happen regularly at the lot.

"You can't see," resident Malikah Akbar said. "You can't see oncoming traffic. The other day, it was a dog that was hit."

Curtis Williams lives right next door to an abandoned, overgrown lot.

"I was cutting it," Williams said. "Then I stopped. I got tired."

Residents said it's not their responsibility, and they want the city to pick up the slack.

"We understand the residents are frustrated," city official Jessica Parker said. "The city does have 133,000 vacant lots that we address four times per year."

Parker said the city is doing its best to cut the grass at all vacant lots. She said residents can report vacant lots to the city, but that the city has a wide area to cover as it works against Mother Nature.

"We've had a considerable amount of rain, and the heat" Parker said. "This is what you see."

The lot on Gable Street near Mound Road is scheduled to be cut this week. City officials told Local 4 that the lot next to Williams's property will also be mowed.

To report a lot that needs to be mowed, call 313-224-5555 or use the Improve Detroit app.

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