Construction Project Creating Safety Hazard in Davenport

Residents in one Davenport neighborhood say the side effect of a nearby construction project is creating a safety hazard in their backyards.

Currently, Marquette Street is closed at 35th Street for intersection improvements. The construction has closed one lane in each direction on Marquette, causing traffic back-ups during rush hours.

However, some drivers have found a way to avoid the mess by using East 34th Street, a short side street that connects to an alley behind several houses.

“As soon as they turn that corner, you’ll see how fast they take that corner and you know they’re going to be flying through here,” says Matt Hess, who lives on the street and contacted News 8 about this safety concern.

Hess, and others neighbors WQAD talked to, say half of the drivers that use the alley are not following the 15 mph speed limit and are instead driving 10, 15 – even 20 or 25 – miles over the posted speed limit.

News 8′s Angie Sharp got the radar out on Friday, June 21st, 2013 to see the concern firsthand. About half of the cars that came down the alley between 4:00pm and 5:30pm drove 10-15 miles over the speed limit.

Hess says he’s tried to contact the police, the Mayor, and his alderman, but “pretty much got nothing from anybody.”

His neighbor, Janelle Bennett, has tried to deal with the problem in a different way, by putting up a homemade sign that asks drivers to “Slow Down Please.” However, she says it only works about half the time.

“It’s an alley, not a street. It’s our backyard,” Janelle says. “We’re so worried because we have kids in the neighborhood. We don’t want them to get hit.”

No word on when the construction project will be complete, but neighbors are asking drivers to be safe and slow down if they have to use the alley at all.

This story came in as a News Tip to the WQAD Newsroom. If you want to send us a News Tip, click here.

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