RELATED: Car Crash Fatality on Grand Avenue (September 2016)
"I pray every time I get ready to turn into my driveway from Grand Avenue that someone isn't speeding and going to hit me from behind," said Karen Hanson, who has lived in her home since 2010. "It's scary."
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Sgt. Will Hunt told Fort Thomas Matters that a man traveling southbound on Grand Avenue hopped a curb, went through some front yards, cut across four lanes of traffic and ended up in an embankment in a front yard on the opposite side of the street.
"I grew up on Greenwood (three houses down) and I don't remember this many accidents happening in the twenty-plus years that I lived there. It's 2:00 in the afternoon and if someone was walking there they would have been killed. I'm not comfortable with having our kids be on the sidewalk in front of our home," said Susan.
Matt Twehues said they heard screeching tires and ran to see what was happening. He said he saw traffic stopped in both directions and a silver Honda Accord lodged into the embankment in his neighbor's house across the street from his home. A scene that he said is becoming too common where he lives.
"The man who was driving was incredibly apologetic," said Twehues, who said he was talking to the man along with a nurse who had stopped her vehicle on Grand Avenue. He said that she witnessed the crash and immediately rushed to his aid by taking his pulse and making sure he was cognizant. "In Fort Thomas, we are known as a community that walks and gets outside a lot, but we can't do that on this stretch. We feel like sitting targets."
The City of Fort Thomas has identified the stretch of Grand Avenue, from Highland Avenue to S. Fort Thomas Avenue, as a tract that could be a candidate for a road diet as part of their visioning process that council is currently undertaking.
RELATED: Fort Thomas Visioning Presented To City Council
Road diets, also called a lane reduction or road rechannelization, is a technique in transportation planning whereby the number of travel lanes and effective width of the road is reduced in order to achieve systemic improvements. In Fort Thomas, this was successfully executed in the past in front of Woodfill Elementary on Alexandria Pike.
"I think a road diet is one of the only things that might make an impact on the amount and severity of these accidents. If nothing else, a parking lane could provide a barrier so that if there is a car losing control it might not go into someone's living room," said Matt.
Susan Twehues said that whether the idea is a road diet or something else, she has talked with her neighbors and they all believe they need the city's help in addressing this trend.
"We'd like to address council, but at the same time any time that I talk to anyone it kind of seems like it's not going to be worth our time to go to any council meetings," she said.
Although the crash this afternoon wasn't as serious as the crash-fatality in September, both the Twehues said the crash this afternoon was jarring.
Simply, this crash in the middle of the afternoon that they believed was due to an intoxicated driver, was the tipping point for them.
"I would hope that this accident would be a tipping point for the city to do something too," said Susan. "The response that we always get is that these accidents are caused by people who are intoxicated, so I think they are downplaying that speed is involved."
Matt echoed those sentiments.
"If this isn't the tipping point, then what is? Is it going to take someone dying who was just sitting in their living room or on their porch?"
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