Oct 8, 2013 4:35 PM by Sara Donchey
CORPUS CHRISTI - Families on Lavaca Street say they are worried about their children's safety.
"The issue is speeding, when they go by. And it gets to a point where I have to yell at them to slow down," said Gloria Vasquez.
Vasquez babysits her grandchildren at their home on Lavaca Street every day. She said there isn't a day that has gone by where she hasn't seen cars speeding.
Lavaca street serves as a shortcut between McArdle and South Padre Island Drive.
Gloria's family and their neighbors suspect that could be why cars jet through the neighborhood so quickly.
They contacted the city about posting signs and installing a speed hump, but the city said the residents would have to pay for them.
Art Cantu, Vasquez's son-in-law, is frustrated.
"It seems like a lot of things don't get done with our city until something happens to somebody," Cantu said.
In fact, Cantu decided to take matters into his own hands.
He purchased materials to make his own street signs warning drivers of children at play.
There currently are no posted speed limit signs on Cantu's street.
Other families in the neighborhood share Cantu's concern.
Lee Montgomery has lived on Lavaca street since the 1970's. He said that for as long as he has lived there, speeding cars have been a problem.
"We wouldn't let our kids play out for a long time, not until they got older," Montgomery said.
Destiny Pantoja lives with her parents and two young brothers across the street from the Cantus. Her family has banned the young boys from playing in the front yard.
"They have to play in the back just because everyone is speeding down this street," Pantoja said. "We don't want anything to happen to them."
In 2004, the Traffic Engineering Division conducted preliminary tests to see if Lavaca Street was eligible for speed humps.
They found that they were eligible, but because of traffic volume, average speed and a variety of other factors that residents would have to cover 75 percent of the cost.
The city uses a point system to determine how much of the cost they will cover for installing speed bumps, traffic circles or other traffic diversions.
Points are awarded based on how many cars pass through the area, proximity of schools or pedestrian areas, the number of accidents in the area and various other factors.
Again in 2008, the city approved two speed humps for Lavaca Street, but said that residents would have to pay the full cost for both--$3,000.
"We pay a lot of taxes and it seems like our taxes just keep going up...and street maintenance or things like this just don't get taken care of," Cantu said.