Homeowners take action against dangerous drivers

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist DEREK RASOR

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 18 at 6:01 PM

AUSTIN -- It's been crash after crash in the River Place subdivision off 2222, so the community is doing something about dangerous drivers. Their first meeting is Thursday night.

People who live in River Place say they're not sure if it's distracted drivers or people speeding into the neighborhood, but after several recent crashes on River Place Boulevard, they say something needs to change.

Nearly 2,000 people call River Place home. The subdivision offers scenic, waterfront views in the hills of Northwest Austin.

"It's a comfortable area," said resident Wick Tobias. "There's a country club nearby."

But on River Place boulevard Susie Major says, "people are going really fast."

After 17 years in River Place, Major and her family say crashes aren't unusual.

"There's a lot of accidents -- very, very serious ones," she said.

Austin police have worked 15 crashes on River Place Blvd., a majority of them at the 2222 intersection.

"With all of our years being here, it's been a very dangerous intersection," Major said.

Just this weekend, police say a suspected drunk driver veered off the road and knocked over a speed limit sign. Pieces of the SUV are still scattered across the grass.

In June, not far from that accident, a driver hit a woman and her two young children walking on the sidewalk. Family members tell KVUE all three are still recovering at home.

"We're having serious problems with traffic that seem to have gotten worse for some reason," Tobias explained.

Tobias moved to River Place in 1996. He's also chairman of the community's newly formed traffic committee.

"The rash of accidents in recent months has brought this to a head, and the homeowners committee decided to get together a group to figure out what's causing this and how we can prevent it," Tobias explained.

The committee wants to provide resources and education to residents. They're also looking at options such as speed bumps and more.

"Certainly signs, increased patrol, possibly resurfacing for a more skid-resistant situation," Tobias said.

In the meantime, the Major family has learned to play it safe.

"I just kind of hang out in the park," said Susie's son, Storm Major. "We are really careful. We try not to take any unnecessary chances when we go out onto the highway there."

As traffic and business along FM 2222 increase, they family is glad someone is looking out for them.

The part of River Place near the entrance falls under Austin police's jurisdiction. The back end is in Travis County. The committee is prepared to work with several different agencies once they come up with a proposal.

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