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Neighborhood signs petition to slow down drivers

By Jacqueline Gedeon, KTVM Butte Reporter, jgedeon@ktvm.com
Published On: Jun 26 2014 04:16:35 PM MDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2014 09:04:47 PM MDT
BUTTE, Mont. -

We're digging into a problem in Butte that's got a couple of dozen people fed up and ready to do something about speeders on a busy street.

They're so sick of it, they took a petition to the council, asking the city to help solve the problem.

The concern is on West Platinum St. all the way to the Excelsior intersection. The area is only a block away from West Elementary School.

Jennifer Vandekop showed us her sign that she bought to help protect her kids, after seeing drivers frequently speed past her home on West Platinum St.

"If we're outside, I've yelled at people to slow down," she said.

West Platinum residents said they worry about accidents in the area because they've seen drivers speed right through intersections without stopping or looking both ways.

"You'll see people just speed through that four way stop there and you know motors revving," said resident Anthony Fields.

We wanted to find out how fast drivers are going, so we rode along with a Butte-Silver Bow officer to check his radar results.

We sat there for twenty minutes, thirty cars went by and at least ten of them were over the speed limit of 25 mph. The fastest was 31 mph.

No tickets for speeding today, but at one of the four way stops, it's another story.

It took us just ten minutes to see at least three cars roll through without stopping.

"I'd like to see something done about it," said resident Bill McManus. He and 23 of his neighbors gave the city council a letter and petition asking for help.

And he knows the worst problems are just weeks away.

"During the school year," said McManus. "It's nothing but a mess and people just don't pay any attention."

"You know, it only takes a couple of seconds of not paying attention for something really bad to happen," said Fields.

And that's what people  like Jennifer Vandekop are afraid of.  She's worried for her own kids and everyone else's.

The Montana Department of Transportation has requested a traffic study and they've already pin-pointed the problem.

Butte-Silver Bow Public Works and MDT are looking at the traffic signal on the corner of West Platinum and Excelsior Avenue.

They say drivers are keeping a high speed through the light and continuing into the neighborhood.

Officials plan to look at how much traffic goes through that area, how fast people are driving and if there have been accidents.