Detroit community protests to lower speed limit on Fort Street where 8-year-old boy was killed

By Koco McAboy - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly

DETROIT - Residents in Southwest Detroit held a silent protest Thursday, demanding a lower speed limit on a portion of Fort Street where an 8-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run in April.

Construction on I-75 has recently redirected more automobiles onto Fort Street, raising more concerns for those involved in the silent protest.

ORIGINAL STORY: Man charged in hit-and-run crash that killed 8-year-old Detroit boy

"The reason it's silent is because a young man was killed on April 19 and his voice is silent now," said Tyrone Carter.

Brandon Starks was killed in a hit-and-run as he tried to walk to Kemeny Park.

"People, slow down." Carter said. "These are our kids and they belong to all of us, and they deserve that safety."

The group is demanding a lower speed limit, more in line with the rest of Fort Street.

"It's 25 miles per hour in River Rouge, it's 30 in Melvindale, it's 35 in Lincoln Park," Carter said. "Why is it 45 here?"

Protestors see it as a hazard, comparing crossing the street to get to the park to Russian roulette.

"People don't respect the speed limit even though it's 45," said Yadira Santamaria. "They still enter it like it's a freeway."

Brandon Starks' death resonates with Santamaria, and she worries about her own family's safety.

"I have my daughter and little sister, even my older brother who goes to the park," Santamaria said. "It puts me in fear, like, what's going to happen?" 

The group reached out to the Michigan Department of Transportation, which put up traffic signs after the hit-and-run.

MDOT said the community can request a speed study.

"We've had a tragedy," Carter responded. "Use that as your study."

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