Backyard a target for speeding vehicles

Neighborhood-driven program has money to address a few select hazards

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Published:

 

The Neighborhood Traffic Safety Alliance meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month (excluding December and summer months) at Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St. NTSA Chair Ross Montgomery said the May 20 meeting is the last chance for residents to bring up a traffic safety problem in this year’s budget cycle.

For more information, contact Montgomery at montre2ecs@aol.com or 360-892-1968. The program is limited to those living in Vancouver city limits.

NTSA is a pilot program, and it’s unknown whether it will continue in 2015. Learn more online.

The first time someone drove through Ryan Euverman’s fence, it might have been a fluke.

The second time, the vehicle that flew through his backyard fence stopped when it hit a play structure his daughters use. The third time, a driver hit the fence in broad daylight. But the fourth time? That was probably the worst.

That’s when a vehicle speeding down Southeast 168th Avenue in Vancouver’s Bennington neighborhood failed to make the 90-degree turn near Euverman’s backyard. It was about 11 p.m. on a Sunday last November. The vehicle took out the fence on the south side of his property, barreled through the length of his yard, took out the north-side fence and crashed into his neighbor’s house, damaging a bathroom.

“It’s gotten to the point where you have trouble sleeping,” Euverman said. At night, “you hear (a car) and you hold your breath, thinking, ‘Are they coming through?'”

Euverman and his wife, Jennifer Euverman, asked the city of Vancouver multiple times for help with the problem. Since then, city workers have striped the street’s center line with raised yellow reflectors and installed arrow signs to alert drivers of the sharp turn. Euverman also attached several red reflectors to his fence.

The city is “taking little steps, but they’re steps that aren’t working,” he said.

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