Council supports changes to ‘unsafe' intersection

WESTWOOD, OH (FOX19) - City council members decided to support residents over recommendations Tuesday for roadway safety improvements.

The City's department of Transportation and Engineering wanted to install radar speed signals along Lafeuille Avenue in Westwood, but did not recommend any further changes in their report.

The recommendation came following community concerns after Tyala Frazier, 9, was hit and killed while crossing Lafeuille on March 16.

The report states the 25 mph speed limit should stay the same because they already dropped it last year from 35 mph. Adding marked crosswalks weren't recommended stating they may give pedestrians a false sense of security.

They did not recommend stop signs either because they say drivers tend to speed up between stops to make up lost time.

Since March, neighbors have been adding teddy bears to Tyala Frazier's memorial and posting make-shift speed signs.

Tracy Lovins has been leading the effort.

"My face ain't going away until they make this corner safe," Lovins said.

She looked at the city traffic study recommendations before attending Tuesday's council meeting. "It's going to take more than radar signs, I hate to say it," Lovins argues. "And I hope it don't take another child losing their life."

Lovins said the emails and phone calls to city council would continue coming until more changes are made.

"My heart's in it, I'm sorry, and I'm not going to stop at no radar sign because if they don't read the speed limit sign that says speed limit 25 they're not going to pay attention to a radar sign either," said Lovins.

"Ain't nobody slowed down," neighbor Larry Ridley said. "It's like they've forgotten."

Larry Ridley has not, however.

"No I haven't, I haven't forgotten," he said. "Every day I look. Every day I see the reminder."

Ridley and his 11-year-old daughter were there when the young girl got hit.

"It's a sad occasion that someone had to lose their life," he said. "It's even sadder that they don't think it warrants anything but a speed trap."

Tracy Lovins showed up to the council meeting ready to fight for her street Tuesday, but she wasn't alone.

"When these types of tragedies happen I think we have to respond sometimes in a way that goes against what the experts have to tell us," Wendell Young said.

"Sometimes the best practice does not fit every scenario," Cecil Thomas noted.

Ultimately council members supported a motion that included a four-way stop at the intersection where the young girl died.

"I'm very happy, very pleased because they are taking note that there is an issue that we have," Lovins said.

Once an ordinance is drafted council will vote on the changes. Thomas expects the ordinance to pass by the end of the month before summer session begins.

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