Speeding problems plague Norfolk neighborhood

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk neighborhood plagued by speeding problems is saying enough is enough.

There are signs the city is working to fix the problem and neighbors say they’re glad the city is getting involved. However, they feel what the city has proposed isn’t enough when things like their property — and even their lives — could be on the line.

Thirteen accidents, three hit-and-runs and 93 speeding tickets: That’s what Norfolk police say took place on Willow Wood Drive in just over five years.

“I’ve not seen anybody go 25 in 23 years,” said Vickie Eshorn, who lives on Willow Wood Drive.

Between March 6 and March 8, the police department issued 34 speeding tickets.

“Right now, we don’t feel safe in our own home,” said Stephanie Walz, who also lives on Willow Wood.

That is why residents are fighting for a solution.

Walz said, “With the increase in the crashes that we’ve had in the last two years, it should be at the forefront.”

On March 5, Walz woke up to a car sitting on top of the three cars parked in her driveway. Police say alcohol was a factor in that crash.

Two men arrested following crash in Norfolk neighborhood

Walz says it’s only increased her fear of something tragic happening on the street. With two young children, she’s considered moving.

“With the safety of my children, that thought has definitely crossed my mind several times,” Walz said.

A spokeswoman for the city says staff met with the Lakewood Civic League on March 12. They say they’ve implemented more visible speed limit signs, new road markers and yellow arrows and upgraded pedestrian lighting. The next part of the plan includes improving crosswalks and adding bike lanes. The city says the bike lanes will serve as both an amenity for the neighborhood, as well as a traffic-calming measure.

But residents aren’t convinced the bike lanes are a solution.

“Imagine a bike lane and a car trying to fit into these very tight spaces,” said Eshorn.

10 On Your Side spoke to the civic league vice president. He says many people feel the same way: They’re not opposed to bike lanes, but think a physical barrier, like a speed table, is the ultimate solution.

As for the physical barriers many residents want to see, the city says they are going to see how the new changes work before considering any other options.