Celina resident David Hancock remembers several years ago when he saw a young boy near his home. The boy, about 5 years old, was ahead of his mother. At the same time, Hancock said, an SUV was coming down the road of the residential area.
By the time the SUV reached the intersection of Colorado and Ash streets, Hancock said, he estimated the car was going at least 40 or 50 mph.
“This 5-year-old boy is easing out, the car never saw them because they were on their phone,” Hancock told Celina City Council members.
It’s not the only time he’s seen dangerous driving near his home. Hancock told council members he’s heard crashes at the nearby intersection, and he recalled standing outside talking to a neighbor recently and gesturing to a car to slow down.
“Never even hit the brakes,” he said.
Hancock was one of three Celina residents to approach Celina City Council members during a July 13 meeting regarding their concerns about speeding issues on Ash Street, a residential street in Celina’s downtown area.
“It’s really, really bad,” Hancock said. “I’m really concerned a child’s going to die and get hit and someone has to live with that memory the rest of their life, and I sure don’t want to see that.”
As Hancock puts it, the street becomes a thoroughfare roughly between the stop signs at Ohio and Arizona drives. He’s not the only one who sees a problem.
“My observation is that people will leave one stop sign, accelerate heavily to another stop sign, slam on their brakes, come into a California stop and hit it again,” resident Dean Schickedanz told council members. “And you can hear it and see it all the way up and down that street. There have been far too many near misses on my corner.”
Schickedanz added that it is difficult for children to cross Ash or to go up and down the street. He suggested a variety of solutions, including creating a school zone, adding stop signs and providing a police presence. He also suggested the city conduct a traffic survey to get data.
“In fact, I’d invite the survey crew to sit on my porch and observe that and clock some speeds,” he said.
From resident Tawnia King’s perspective, the issue starts even farther down the road where it intersects with railroad tracks. She recalled hearing “motocross” going down the street at 11 p.m. and people driving “unbelievably fast” in the morning while she put her trash cans out.
“We’ve got to do something to slow those people down,” King told council members.
It’s an issue she’s been concerned about for a while, she said.
“I don’t have little kids, but it doesn’t matter,” King said. “If there’s a life loss, it’s on us for not standing up and speaking.”
During the meeting, Councilman Andy Hopkins thanked residents for their comments.
“I live right by there, and it’s amazing how fast someone can get without leaving tire tracks between two stop signs just a couple of blocks,” he said.
In a Monday email, Public Services Executive Director Kim Brawner said city staff are evaluating the conditions on Ash and the concerns residents brought forward on July 13.
Staff will be reviewing the crash history to determine the cause of any incidents, monitoring for speed conditions and working with the nearby school to address any school crossing issues, Brawner stated.
“Staff appreciates citizens bringing concerns to their attention,” Brawner stated. “If someone is aware of a condition that might need additional attention, please reach out to us directly.”