ELYRIA — The revving of engines as they propel vehicles through a curve on Bell Avenue well beyond the posted speed limit has pushed residents to the limit, and they have one message for speed demons that career through residential neighborhoods: slow down.
“It needs to stop,” said Sarah George of 680 Bell Ave. “We are sick and tired of worrying every day what will happen next.”
George, a self-proclaimed watchful neighbor, said she reached her breaking point about a week ago when a car barreled around the curve and ended up crossing her neighbor’s yard and a bit of hers before the driver made his way back to the street, leaving behind a trail of damage at the home of Elyria Clerk of Council Forrest Bullocks. Since then, George has circulated a petition among her neighbors. She will present it to City Council during the Sept. 4 meeting asking for some help to stop the speeders.
Roughly 40 people in the neighbor signed the request for more signage to reflect the 25 mph limit and police patrols.
Councilwoman Brenda Davis, D-2nd Ward, said Elyria police already provide patrols near Bell Avenue and state Route 57.
“The police are trying, but it’s an ongoing problem,” she said. “If they did 25, it wouldn’t be a problem. But they don’t do 25.”
Davis, who lives at 684 Bell Ave., said the speeders keep her from allowing her grandchildren to play in the front of her home. The incident at Bullocks’ home shook her, she said.
“Had a child been out, that child wouldn’t be here today,” she said.
Bullocks said this isn’t the first time a speeder ended up in his yard.
A few years ago, a driver plowed a pickup into an oak tree that was prominent in the front yard. The impact flipped the truck into Bullocks’ driveway and damaged the tree so much that it had to be cut down.
This most recent time, Bullocks said he tried to catch the driver, but a foot injury kept him from getting outside quick enough.
“We think at least two tires were off the rim and they still got away,” he said.
Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino said the patrol commander, Capt. Phil Hammonds, is working to get some extra patrols in the area.
“We are aware of the problem and will work to allocate resources to the area,” he said.