Ypsilanti residents look to slow down speeding drivers

Neighborhood has seen family pet killed, van smashed


A fear of speeding drivers has inspired an Ypsilanti neighborhood to fight for safety improvements.

In just the past few months, the neighborhood has seen a family pet killed and a van smashed. To bring attention to their efforts, they called Ruth to the Rescue.

Nancy Murphy made homemade signs to express just how angry she is to have lost her cat, which she believed was killed, due to dangerous driving in her neighborhood.

"I cried for weeks. I couldn't function. I couldn't do anything. He was a pet I got after my husband passed away," Murphy said.

Murphy said her cat's death came two months after another driver smashed into her van.

"They pushed it fifteen feet from where it was parked, and this was a big conversion van," Murphy said.

Residential road is "cut through"

Murphy and her neighbors said during peak travel times, their street, Big Pine Drive, is a cut-through between two major roads, Huron River Drive and Textile Road.

"There's been numerous occasions where it's been close calls. You've ran outside because you've heard screeching of the brakes and stuff," another neighbor, Tresa Lay.

Murphy discovered that the process to get a new stop sign or speed bumps on her street would take a lot of work. The first step was getting a petition signed by at least seven homeowners in the area. Murphy got 27 signatures.

"I've had people that I've talked with who've done the same thing, and the process seems to take forever," Murphy said.

Ruth to the Rescue checked with the Washtenaw Road Commission and spoke with Senior Project Manager Brent Schlack.

Shlack said there's no way to speed up the process. He said it's done deliberately to make sure any changes won't be challenged.

"We have to go through a process to make sure that the most egregious locations are chosen. If not, we'd have speed humps all over the place," Shlack said.

That doesn't give Nancy Murphy much comfort.

"Sometimes I think a nice, quiet road somewhere would be a lot better. But this is my home, " Murphy said.

New safety measures pass first test

In the past few days, The Washtenaw County Road Commission has determined Big Pine Drive does qualify for new safety measures.

Now, Murphy has to get more signatures on another petition, from 75 percent of the residents that would be affected.

Murphy is happy the process is moving forward, but still wishes it could move more quickly.

Ruth to the Rescue will follow Nancy Murphy's efforts every step of the way.

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