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home : opinion : opinion April 29, 2016

4/20/2014 6:00:00 AM
Guest Column: Downtown Kingman has a speeding problem
Michael Carter
Kingman resident

Editor's note: A version of this letter was sent to the Kingman Police Department and other city officials.

We are writing to you today in hopes that the Kingman Police Department can assist us with what has been an area of concern for the residences on East Beale Street. Many drivers fail to observe and obey the 25 mph posted speed limit beginning in the 700 block of Beale Street. It appears that many who merge onto Beale Street from Andy Devine carry their speed on through the neighborhoods to the first stop sign located at 5th and Beale streets.

On Sunday, we were pulling into our driveway. As always, we back our vehicle into the driveway so that we can safely see when we pull out. Many times when we have oncoming traffic, we yield the right-of-way and wait until it's clear to perform our maneuver. However, there are times that vehicles are traveling so quickly that we do not see them when we start to pull in, nor can they see us due to the home's location on the hill.

This was the case on Sunday. We were pulling into our driveway and a vehicle nearly broadsided us. After the incident, I measured the skid marks to be more than 20 feet in distance; however, this was not a true judge of the speed because the vehicle began braking well before the tires began the slide. I have heard many stories from my wife on the antics of other drivers. She drives more frequently, and during peak traffic periods.

I tested my theory of a "blind spot" for traffic going from east to west on Beale Street. From experimentation, I found that speeds of 45 mph or more would create a situation that could cause a collision because you cannot clearly see obstructions on Beale Street and react to them safely.

Unfortunately, and far too frequently, vehicles do exceed 45 mph on Beale Street.

Many people walk down Beale Street. There are businesses in the 700 block where people park and cross the street. We have seen people hurrying to dodge oncoming vehicles. At times, some vehicles have swerved in order to miss hitting someone opening a vehicle door and exiting the vehicle.

My favorite is the right-hand passing of slower vehicles that are obeying the speed limit. Not a week goes by without the sound of skidding tires and the blasting of a car horn due to "near-misses" on the street.

In 13 years of residency, the situation is appearing to be more dangerous than ever. The offending vehicles are not just those that are privately owned; municipal and public vehicles also speed past at excessive speeds.

The number of vehicles traveling well over the 25 mph posted speed limit is almost constant. It appears those who are frequent travelers have become complacent and no longer heed the posted limit. We are more concerned than ever about the potential for a horrific accident.

Previously, we wrote a letter to the editor of the Kingman Daily Miner and were very pleased that the Kingman Police Department immediately reacted. They visited our residence personally and patrolled the block for over a week.

This resulted in a more reasonable flow of traffic at safer speeds. It appeared that the officers only warned drivers instead of issuing citations.

I do not want to second-guess an officer's judgment, but as a driver, I remember every citation I was issued.

But this solution was only temporary. Once the police presence was gone, the speeding traffic resumed.

We asked that a vacant police car be parked in plain view at the northwest corner of 7th and Beale, since I have personally found that a cruiser's presence is an adequate deterrent.

We don't know what to do. The situation is unsafe, and we feel helpless. We can either wait for the inevitable looming disaster or ask directly for assistance.

If your department cannot provide an increased patrol, especially between 7-8 a.m. and 4-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, we request your assistance in having the city of Kingman provide a traffic control change for the 700 block of Beale Street:

• The addition of a stop sign on Beale at the intersections of either 8th or 7th streets, or;

• Adding a rumble strip and a "Reduced Speed Ahead" sign before the intersection of Beale and 8th.

I also feel that internal memos and education for the public agencies located within the downtown area (City, County, State, etc.) would be beneficial. Sometimes all a person needs is a reminder.

Our concern is for all who visit the neighborhoods and businesses around Beale Street. We ask that you help us any way that your department can.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
Article comment by: Kingman Dweller

How about one of those electronic signs that post the speed limit and then underneath it show you what your speed is. Those seem to get your attention to slow down. Something will need to be done, as next year many at LWHS will be driving along there as well. (Meaning new and inexperienced drivers) Anything and everything should be done to get traffic to be aware to slow down.

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Article comment by: @ loco pete

Talk about distracted drivers, how many times have you driven this road? As you are playing with your GPS where is it located? Is it on your dash or your lap or in your hand?. Another distracted driver playing with his toy. Put away the toy and PAY ATTENTION..

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Article comment by: Oh Ya

It doesn't help that the one's that are suppose to be writing the citations can't control their own speed or consistently break the law themselves. In my neighborhood, where several of these individuals live, you would think they were race car drivers. I'm to the point I am going to start logging dates, times, and license plate numbers of these law enforcement officers when they are speeding by in their personal vehicles, if that don't work, then I'll start providing names. They must feel they are "above" the laws.

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2014
Article comment by: Nay Mama

There are 3 things to reduce speed in that area and help the residences do what they need to:
1. Mentioned before, put on the eastbound lane a safety bump or the little bumps that get your attention, so you have to slow down.
2. A sign on the westbound side of Beale St. on the incline side that says "Watch for vehicles pulling into and out of residences."
3.Put in a stop sign at Beale and 7th, knowing you have to stop should slow down some vehicles.

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: gun owner 000

I can believe it. More times than I care to remember, I've been passed on Stockton Hill Road by somebody texting, driving 70 mph.
The other day, one of them could barely wait until the road widened, and when it did, went tearing around me, on Beale Street at well over 60 mph. I really don't understand why they're in such a hurry.....Police cars don't even drive that fast around here.

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Loco Pete

This is a small part of a bigger problem.
Failure to adequately post speed limits.
Immediately following every intersection the speed limit should be posted!
There have been many-many occasions I have traveled that the only way I knew the speed was to refer to my GPS!

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Deanna Laycock

I agree with that East Beale Street is dangerous lots of speeders and to accidents after living in the 6th block for 6 months I went to move the water in my front yard and heard a loud bang as to raise my head up to see my Jeep sitting on the sidewalk as a speeder distracted by who knows what cell phone she to police she was playing with the radio and did not notice she was crossing to the other side of the road. Needless to say my Jeep was Totaled out so yes I watch out my window the cars going over the 25 speed limit.

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

I live in the near vicinity and use the area he speaks of daily and frankly, I don't see any real peak time of day, as if there is bumper to bumper traffic.

I haven't noticed but is there a sign further up El Trovatore Hill that warns that the Beale Street exit will be a certain speed limit to give people a warning because it comes on you very fast and often, people aren't breaking the law on purpose, just aren't aware of the quick slowdown. Go too slow on El Trov hill and you could be ticketed for that also I suppose.

My two aunts lived right there in the area he means, in the rock house now an attorney's office and the house next door and I don't ever remember even one single wreck.

In front of the newer school near Lee Williams High School is a whole other ball game. Young people deliberately speed up there and I do mean speed up and there is no way anyone could get out of their way and many snowbirds parked next door to the school walk their dogs daily right by the school.

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: justice servrd

@ justanobody sr apparently you do not know Beale street. the road is very wide and as you position yourself to back in and start the process some of those drivers are going so fast that if they are at the top of the hill and you are backing in they can be to you quite quickly. thats why the speed limit that most do not use....this does not mean that you turned into an on coming car.

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Downtown Native

Can you say city property tax?

That will fix it.

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: Avg Joe

That street INDEED needs enforcement. When I do the posted speed limit there, I have people either tailgating me, or honking their horns. Let's go KPD, enforce the laws you're hired to do.

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Article comment by: justanobody sr

if you were :"almost broadsided"
then it tells me you turned in front of an on coming car!!
regardless of the speed, you must yield to oncoming traffic.
I'll admit, cars do travel above the speed limit on beale,

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