Councilwoman sides with northside residents pleading for help with Monteiro Street speeding

People who live on Monterio Street say drivers constantly speed down their road with some people even losing control and crashing into their homes as they come
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 9:12 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT)- Residents from the Monterio street neighborhood rallied during Monday’s city council meeting because of the constant speeding and frequent crashes that happen in their area.

Marilynn Joyner, who has been living on Monteiro Street for more than 20 years, says her home has bored the brunt of the crash damage. Over the years, she says she’s lost multiple vehicles due to speeding off the 1st Street bridge, and in the past nine months, she says her front porch has been destroyed twice by cars.

“This year just hasn’t felt like Christmas. I’m not even in the spirit of decorating this year,” Joyner said. “I’m just hopeful that the new year will bring more cheer and that I will be able to enjoy my porch in the Summer and enjoy the family like we normally do sitting out here.”

Joyner says her new porch is currently under construction. Still, she fears another accident could be just around the corner, so she rallied her neighbors together to address the issue with the city council directly so that their pleas would not go unheard.

“I don’t know what to say because sometimes I get so emotional,” Joyner told councilmembers Monday. “Please take further action as far as getting me more protection for my home to keep these cars from impacting my property.”

“We need your help for us all to enjoy our porches and front yards,” Joyner’s next-door neighbor Michael Biero said.

“It’s the only part of my commute where I really don’t feel safe,” another neighbor told the council.

Back in September, the city attempted to address the issue by installing two rumble strips along the length of the bridge where speeding occurs most frequently.

The strips will rattle vehicles as they speed over them, also producing a rumbling sound to alert drivers of their speed, but since their installation, Joyner and her neighbors say it’s done little to discourage speeding.

NBC12 used a radar gun to record the speed on the bridge, with multiple cars topping rates over 35 mph, more than twice the posted speed limit on the bridge.

After hearing neighbor’s complaints during the public comment portion of the meeting, 6th district representative Ellen Robertson told them that she recently spent two hours on Moterio street to observe the speeding for herself and agreed with the neighbors there that more must be done to address the speeding and resulting property damage adequately.

“I agree. I think we need to look at that more critically based on the level of damage that I have more than a central location,” Robertson said. “We will be coming out there to look at, and we will be coming out there and putting our feet in the site and looking at what actually can be done.”

9th District Councilman Mike Jones and 3rd District Councilwoman Ann-Frances Lambert told Robertson that they would be willing to assist in any way to help fully realize a solution to address the speeding adequately.

“We know exactly what the answers are to slow down speeding. It’s not a mystery,” a neighbor said.

Residents on Monterio street said they would like to see the road narrowed to include a bike lane and barriers that would force drivers to go slower when on the bridge. Other neighbors suggest speed bumps be placed at the beginning, middle and end of the bridge to remind drivers not to speed at any point of the bridge.

“I’m really hopeful that they can pay more attention and give the attention that we need to have maybe three humps on this block, not just this block but all the way down Monterio all the way down to the other curb,” Joyner said. “City of Richmond, please make our community feel safe! I really am begging you all.”

Robertson says there are plans in the works for her to meet with the public works department right here at the bridge and Monterio street to study what can be done, but a hard date has not been set.