Make roads safer for kids


Published: Thursday, May 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 at 11:01 p.m.

For two years little Valentina Veltcheva rode her bicycle past our house every morning accompanied by her mother and younger sister. We always greeted them as we walked our own daughter to school at J.J. Finley. Valentina was only a hundred yards from her home when a truck driver took her life.

Near our own home a few blocks away, we see accidents at the corner of 7th Avenue and 17th Street every month or so, despite repeated requests to the city for traffic calming. A few weeks ago our next door neighbor, who is over 90 years old, was involved in a five-car collision - five cars! - at that intersection, on what is supposedly a quiet residential street.

Now we hear there is to be a massive new apartment complex built a block away from the site of Valentina's death, mainly catering to students who, if past experience is any indication, will not see themselves as part of a living community during their temporary residence and will treat 13th Avenue, 8th Avenue, and 7th Avenue as drag strips.

We do not feel safe in our own neighborhood. We walk gripping our children's hand with an iron fist. We wonder, will the policies and decisions of the new City Commission serve to worsen this feeling, or to help abate it?

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