Residents living on South Lakeview Avenue near West Story Road have been plagued by speeding cars in their area for years.
They said they have made multiple calls to both the Winter Garden Police Department and city of Winter Garden but are troubled by the inadequate action to discourage speeding on their street.
To encourage cars to slow down when traveling in their area, residents, such as Shannon Peavey, have installed multiple street signs reading “children at play.” Unfortunately, the signs have done little to solve the issue.
“It’s just constant speeding,” said Peavey, a resident with two grandkids who live across the street from her home. “They’ll come off Story (Road), punch it to go downtown, and vice versa when they leave the four-way intersection down there. I called the city of Winter Garden probably two months ago and complained about the speeding because during one particular week, it was the same person doing it.”
WGPD’s call history records show Peavey called on Sept. 13, complaining of speeders and requesting that speed trailers and extra patrols be placed in the area.
WGPD complied with her request and installed speed trailers, which were removed before Hurricane Matthew. They also placed patrol officers who have conducted nine total traffic stops on Lakeview Avenue from Sept. 29 to Nov. 8.
Nonetheless, several neighbors in the area feel the speeding has worsened since the new parking garage opened in September.
“I mean, where are they going to go? There’s no stop sign on this road until you hit Smith Street,” said Winter Garden resident Dennis Duckwiler. “They’re not going to go up Boyd (Street), because they’d have to stop two or three times, so they come right down Lakeview (Avenue). So it’s put all that traffic down our street.”
Some residents have resorted to yelling at the speeding cars while they drive by.
“We’ve had major issues,” said Ashley Moore, a mother of three young kids. “It’s gotten to the point where all of us neighbors are screaming and yelling at people to get them to slow down through here.”
One such instance a little more than a year ago saw tensions rise when Moore’s brother had a speeding driver pull out a gun on him after he ran up to the car and yelled at him to slow down. But their pleas for help, along with calls for service from what Moore estimates are six other houses on the block, has not achieved much.
Moore said some residents with young children have repeatedly begged something be done. They wish speed bumps and additional stop signs be installed as a more permanent solution.
WGPD also placed speed trailers in the area around Christmas, Moore said, which she believed unwise, given that people might drive slower to gaze at Christmas lighting decorations.
Her husband, John Alliston, added that they also placed one right before Hurricane Matthew hit, but many cars avoided driving during the days following the natural disaster, possibly creating inaccurate data.
Alliston himself has offered his own driveway and a free lunch to encourage WGPD officers to park their cars and patrol. Last he heard, he said, is that WGPD wanted to get appropriate data to know when they should place a patrol officer in the area.
Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected].