Neighbor laments safety concerns after crash in Manchester: ‘It’s like a game of Frogger’

RICHMOND, Va. -- The woman whose parked car was hit along Bainbridge Street in Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood spoke to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers about the crash and the traffic concerns she has about her neighborhood.

“We heard this just haunting screech of tires and then impact,” said Maria Beall, who was inside her home in the 1200 block of Bainbridge St. when the crash happened Tuesday morning. “The irony of it is that I’ve been advocating for my neighborhood to be safer.”

Beall said she moved into the neighborhood two months ago and has raised concerns with the city about the safety of residents and visitors walking in the neighborhood when it comes to vehicle traffic.

She said there are no stops signs or crosswalks for Bainbridge St. traffic and added some drivers ignore the posted speed limit.

“It just feels like they’re not going 25 miles per hour. Sometimes it feels like cars are going up to 50 and the even scarier things is most of those drivers have their cellphones in their hands,” said Beall. “It’s like a game of Frogger watching people trying to cross the street safely.”

Beall said after a previous complaint with the city, they sent out an engineer who recommended three speed tables, another version of speed bumps, but only one was approved. However, she said construction has not started on that one.

Tuesday's crash also highlighted another concern Beall has about traffic along the street. She said cars park too close to the ends of the blocks and impede the visibility of cars trying to drive onto or through Bainbridge.

Photos: Maria Beall

Richmond Police said in Tuesday’s crash poor visibility could have been a factor. They said “[a]fter stopping at a stop sign, a female in a car at the intersection of West 13th Street advanced her vehicle into the roadway and collided with the westbound vehicle on Bainbridge Street. The westbound vehicle then collided with an unoccupied car that was parked nearby.”

Along with the speed tables, Beall said she has asked the city for crosswalks, stop signs and no parking signs near the ends of each street.

“We want people to be able to be safe and walk the neighborhood,” added Beall.

Department of Public Works spokesperson Sharon North sent CBS 6 News several statements concerning Beall’s requests.

"Transportation Engineering requested three in their original scope of work. However, the final determination is up to the Fire Marshall. He did not want to dramatically slow down emergency vehicles, which is what the speed tables are designed to do – slow down traffic. DPW is fine with one, though. It will definitely help slow vehicles,” wrote North in an email.

North said the speed table that has been approved will be installed along Bainbridge between 12th St. and 13th St. She added construction starts next week and will finish by December.

North said the city will also install a crosswalk and a “No Parking” sign at 13th St.

“We also are planning to install a crosswalk on Bainbridge at 12th Street if we can work around the street mural painted there,” added North.

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