By Anna Phillips | March 12, 2020 at 12:07 AM EDT – Updated March 12 at 12:07 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Parts of Wilshire Boulevard are idyllic with blooming Azaelas along a winding two-lane road and neighborhoods to each side, but some residents say drivers are consistently speeding by the 35mph signs using their street as a Wilmington cut-through.
At that time, city leaders told us they were working on getting a speed monitoring sign placed along Wilshire Blvd., but to date that hasn’t happened.
Norbert Novak lives on Bonham Avenue within sight of the intersection with Wilshire Boulevard.
He says Bonham has always been a very desirable place to live, but now he’s thinking about moving.
“Obviously this isn’t the only traffic area in the city, but its got to be one of the, in my opinion, it’s got to be one of the worst,” Novak said. “I’ve experienced it too much, too often, even right up and down this street cars have been t-boned, totaled, it’s very unsafe to walk around.”
Kendon Wilson grew up at a home on the corner of Bonham and Wilshire and can remember the first time car headlights shone through the bushes in his front yard as a child witnessing an accident.
However, he feels increased traffic and accidents is a widespread issue across Wilmington.
“I feel like a lot of it is, I mean, definitely intoxicated drivers as well as inexperienced drivers as well as unattentative drivers, and so this area, the amount of accidents has increased in this area but the amount accidents has increased in most areas around the City of Wilmington,” Wilson said.
A City of Wilmington spokesperson says they’re currently working with the N.C. Dept of Transportation, which owns the road, to choose a location for the sign. Once installed, it will likely be in place for 6-8 weeks.
Officers, however, aren’t sure speeding is the main problem.
Wilmington police responded to 54 accidents on Wilshire Blvd. between January 15 and December 31, 2019.
Of those, almost half involved citations for failure to reduce speed or a safe moving violation. Those charges don’t necessarily mean a driver was speeding; they could indicate someone ran a stop sign or red light or was distracted and rear-ended a slowing vehicle in front of them.
Of those 54 crashes, only 8 involved “possible injury classifications”, according to a WPD spokesperson.
“In the seven years I’ve lived here at this intersection of Bonham and Wilshire there have been at least two if not three accidents, rollovers, serious accidents,” said Novak. “I’m not talking about fender-benders, I’m talking about total demolished cars.”
“Mainly, its just when you’re behind the wheel, pay attention to the road, pay attention to everything that’s going on because that’s people’s lives at stake,” Wilson said.
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