Residents express concern about traffic

Residents of Braxton Parke, and now the Batavia trustees, are searching for a way to keep people from running stop signs along Braxton Parke Drive, Bach Grove Court and Laurel Oak Drive.

At the monthly trustee meeting April 5, several residents were present to describe the problem that has them concerned about the safety of their children and themselves.

“I know we aren’t the only neighborhood to have this discussion, but people are continually running stop signs,” said William Righter of Braxton Parke. “As a neighborhood, we need to have the issue addressed.”

Righter, who was surprised more residents didn’t attend the meeting, said he watches people run the stop signs nearly every time he is outside. He also said speeding and traffic have increased in the area because people are using the streets as a cut through. The streets connect Bach Buxton Road to Amelia Olive Branch Road.

Righter said Luke, his 7-year-old son who was with him at the meeting, rides his bike on the streets. Because of the issue, Righter is afraid for Luke and the other children in the neighborhood.

“It has come to a point where someone is going to lose their child before something is done,” Righter said.

Residents aren’t the only ones aware of, and concerned about the issue. Deputy Chris Allen of Batavia Township was also present at the meeting to discuss his efforts to reduce the problem.

“I sit in plain sight and I watch them,” Allen said about catching drivers. “They don’t even look at me, some of them don’t even hit their brakes.”

Allen said he has been monitoring the area for a couple of years. He most often sits at the Braxton Parke and Bach Grove stop sign, located across from the neighborhood pool. The deputy used to call the spot his “baby,” and said he writes 14 to 20 tickets a month in the area. The tickets are $90 a pop and Allen said he’s written tickets for people running multiple stop signs in a row.

Despite consistent attempts to enforce the area, Allen and residents agree this issue is still rampant. Righter said he has tried to signal drivers to reduce their speed, only to be cussed at. He has even witnessed a driver get out of the car and scream at a woman for asking them to slow down.

Trustee members were concerned about the issue and discussed several options with residents to help reduce incidences and catch drivers who still do not follow the rules. Solutions mentioned included speed bumps, additional law enforcement, speed boxes to record speed and cameras to tape offenders.

“The best thing to do is enforce it,” said Rex Parsons, administrator.

Parsons explained that speed bumps can only be installed on private property, such as stores or apartment complexes. He said that while closing the cut through at Laurel Oak Drive would help, it really is not an option.

“What we would start with is having another deputy,” said Trustee Lee Cornett.

Trustees also discussed bringing speed boxes back to the area to help slow cars down and possibly purchasing a camera to help Deputy Allen with offenders. Allen said residents can report license plate numbers of offenders to police.

“We don’t want any children in danger,” said Cornett about the issue. “I think we know what the problem is, now it is time to see what we can get done.”