RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Distracted and drunk drivers are causing havoc on Bainbridge Street as the same property is destroyed repeatedly.
Two nights ago, first-time homeowner, Sarah Lyda, woke up to the loud noise of a car slamming into her fence. Lyda describes the incident as “awful and scary.”
The car reportedly came around a curve, entered Lyda’s driveway and then took off. Lyda is now left with pieces of wood and the driver’s burgundy-colored car scattered in her backyard. The 25 miles per hour speed limit sign was run over and it’s still on the ground.
Lyda told 8News that she spent $5,000 to get the fence put in, which was up for less than two years. Other residents from the area told 8News the fence has been hit nearly a dozen times over the years.
“The cars come entirely too fast. We need those bumpers,” said Howlett Turner, one of Lyda’s neighbors. “Coming from the grocery store or the doctor, and I’m entering my street, I’m so scared of the car that’s coming the wrong way. We might have an accident.”
The Metro Richmond Flying Squad sits on Bainbridge across from where the fence was hit. According to staff, it can sometimes be difficult to come and go from the department when they’re responding to various incidents in the city.
Teresa Cole lives along Bainbridge as well. Cole is not only a neighbor but also a board member for Friends of Fonticello Park. Cole said her family has had two cars totaled in six months. In one of the incidents, she was responsible for the damages. Now she doesn’t park her cars on the street anymore.
“It’s been terrible,” Cole said.
Stephanie Lynch represents the 5th District on the Richmond City Council. Lynch said several streets in her district — and throughout the city — are currently facing challenges with speeding and traffic behavior.
“It’s Semmes Avenue, but it’s also Bainbridge. It’s Midlothian Turnpike. It’s Hull Street,” Lynch said.
According to her office, there are plans for the Bainbridge stretch between 29th and 30th Street. The City hopes to plant trees, add reflectors, and improve the sidewalk and curb on the south side of the street.
“This office continues to be extremely concerned with how people are traveling within our communities. We will continue to fund Vision Zero and complete safe and healthy streets,” a statement from Lynch’s office reads. “We do look forward to speed ticketing if the general assembly gives us permission to expand the program to residential commercial parks and bridges.”
Vision Zero started in 2019. According to the City’s website, it is a multidisciplinary global strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
Councilwoman Lynch’s office hopes to get funding for improvements in this year’s fiscal budget.