A Henrico woman is calling on drivers to slow down, and for the county to speed up its safety plan.
The problem, she says, got a lot worse when she had to dive to avoid a speeding car. It happened Wednesday at the intersection of Cambridge Drive and Ridgefield Parkway, she said.
Catherine Drooger believes she did everything right. She hit the button. She waited for the signal. She used the crosswalk.
And then, she says, she nearly died.
ANDY: "And, where did it happen?"
CATHERINE: "Right here."
ANDY: "And so you dove..."
CATHERINE: "I went that way."
ANDY: "Right here in the middle of the roadway."
CATHERINE: "In the middle of the roadway."
There's the scrape on her leg, to prove it...courtesy of a speeding driver, she says, who ran the red light and kept on going. That was Wednesday morning...the last straw in Catherine's year-long effort to get drivers to slow down.
"I will tell you that this is an outdated program," Drooger said.
The program is Henrico County's popular traffic calming initiative, created in 2004. Her neighborhood qualifies for Phase One: $200 fines for anyone caught speeding. But first, Catherine must gather about 300 neighborhood signatures in favor of the fines.
"But you can see there are lots of blanks where I could not get folks to answer the door," Drooger said, as she showed us a stack of petitions.
Complicating matters is the neighborhood's no soliciting policy.
"People will not open their doors, and I don't blame them. I mean, this is not 2004 it's 2012. I think the system needs to be updated," Drooger said.
For the past 48 hours, Catherine's traded e-mails with county leaders, who maintain their support for the program. Catherine's not entirely pleased. But she's also not giving up.
So, will Henrico County's entire traffic calming program be changed overnight? No. But from the e-mails it does appear as though county leaders and Catherine are working on additional ways to gather the required signatures.
The two sides have considered setting up a public meeting to get neighbors together in one place.
A county traffic engineer did not return a call for comment.
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