In a recorded message yesterday, Mayor Stoney announced efforts the city would be making in the coming months to curb various traffic issues in the city, most notably speeding in the east end.
“Over the last several months, my office has received more complaints than usual about speeding along the main corridors in the east end.” Stoney continued, “While efforts have been made to utilize traffic circles — among other approaches — to curb these issues, it is clear they have fallen short.”
Of particular concern is Jefferson Avenue, which is frequently noted as one of the more prominent streets for excessive speeds. Jefferson Avenue underwent substantial transformation over the last several years — with changes continuing to be made — but some neighbors say it has only made things worse.
“A traffic light stops drivers. These circles? They are just an invitation.” Bubby McGee, a long-time resident on Jefferson Avenue, has used the pandemic to take matters into his own hands. For the last 8 months, he has transformed the sidewalk in front of his home into both a home office and traffic enforcement hub. With a speed gun he purchased on Amazon, he regularly pauses his work to catch speeders in the act, sending a weekly spreadsheet with license plates, make, and model to the First Precinct.
“It’s our job to protect our community, especially when those in charge fail.” While Bubby has been vocal about his disappointment in past efforts by the Stoney administration, he was excited about the upcoming measures. “Those circles may not work, but SLASH will!”
SLASH — or Slowing Lawbreakers And Saving Homes — is Mayor Stoney’s latest effort to address speeding in communities like the east end, hoping that safer roads will lead to higher home values. “SLASH is the result of two years of conferring with experts and analyzing the data, and the results are clear: if you don’t have tires, you can’t speed.”
SLASH is a two-pronged initiative that will take effect on May 1st. The first phase will entail installing road spikes in some of the higher speed areas. “These spikes were designed to be navigated at slow speeds, but not high speeds. By following the clear road markers, responsible drivers will easily clear the spikes and make it to their destination. Fast drivers… well, that’s a different story.”
The second phase involves recruiting for a SLASH Street Team. These community-based teams will be tasked with monitoring for repeat offenders. When a driver has been documented speeding in a SLASH zone at least three times, their license number can be entered into the system and the team can request the address on file. Each team member is equipped with a SLASH kit that includes sticker that can be placed on the offender’s windshield, which explains the issues with speeding and efforts of SLASH, and a small dagger to slash the tires.
Bubby has already been named as one of the leaders for an east end SLASH team. “I couldn’t believe it when I got the call. It’s like the past 8 months I have been training for this!”
Any who are interested in being a part of the SLASH team can learn more at SLASHRVA.gov.