Residents Seek a Safer Garth Avenue

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COLUMBIA - Residents of South Garth Avenue are concerned about safety in their community. The narrow street fills with traffic everyday as students go to and from Grant Elementary School. Since the school does not have a drop off lane or a large parking lot for parents, so many end up parking on the side of South Garth Avenue. This makes it difficult for traffic to flow in both directions, and often causes congestion around the intersection with Broadway.

Just a few weeks ago, local resident Elizabeth Chang was hit by a car while loading her three sons into her van as she was parked on the side of the street. She is recovering, but the incident shed some light on what local residents have been dealing with.

It was not the first time someone has sideswiped a car on Garth. Residents of the avenue have reported many accidents on the street both before and after school hours. When school isn't in session, local resident Karla Lewis says people often entirely disregard speed limits.

" I would really appreciate them lowering the speed limit....Summer, as well as during the school year having it reduced so that the traffic is always at a slower pace, not so quick."

While there are speed limit signs on the street that tell drivers just how fast they are going, the accidents still occur.

"If I sit out on my porch and have coffee I can see the flashing thing...and before school gets in in the morning, you know six thirty or seven o'clock I can see people going 35 even 40 miles per hour before they get to the school sign that says 20. And they don't really slow down because it's time for school to be in"

Jason Becking has lived on South Garth for twelve years, and has seen many accident on the street. "My truck is always parked on the street and its been hit about ten times or so."he says. "I'd like them to put some speed bumps school and by the library, at the middle of the road and down by Stewart."

KOMU has contacted the Columbia Police Department and the city of Columbia about  the situation. Neither has returned phone calls.