Residents worried about wrecks

A car passes through the intersection of North Cherry Street and Avenue E, where neighbors say car crashes are becoming all too common.

East McComb residents are calling for action from the city to reduce frequent wrecks at a busy intersection.

The area near the corner of North Cherry Street and Avenue E has seen more wrecks than the neighbors can count. The intersection is marked as a two-way stop, but a large oak tree limits visibility for oncoming drivers. These two issues, along with frequent speeding, make for dangerous conditions, residents say.

“Five in the past month,” said Tuff Davis, a McComb High School freshman who lives near the intersection,  counting on his hand and listing separate incidents. “That all happened last month, but, you know what I mean. I’m telling you one is going to happen again soon.”

Davis said he counted five wrecks at the intersection, noting that one of the five collisions resulted in his home being hit by a car.

“We had one hit the house, and you could feel the vibrations,” he said.

When asked why he believed the wrecks were happening, he pointed to the tree across from his home and said he, along with his mother and sister, spoke with the owner multiple times.

“They need to cut this tree down, so when you go to the stop signs, you can actually see,” Davis said. “Every time a wreck happens, we say we need to cut the tree down and have the city come out, but they just brush it off and act like ain’t nobody see it.”

Davis said he and his family believe it would be a good idea to turn the two-way stop on the intersection into a four-way stop, noting that even if the tree stays up, a four-way would go a long way in reducing the frequency of wrecks.

Davis’ neighbor Johnnie Abraham said she would like to see speed bumps placed on the intersection, believing it would lessen the crashes.

“I’ve been wondering what they are going to do about that because I know of too many (wrecks) myself,” she said. “They need to put speed bumps. When you go around that corner and come straight across, you can’t see.”

She said the tree is less of an issue, noting the bushes around it as another obstruction.

The tree sits on private property, which the city cannot legally work on, so it would cost the owner upwards of $2,000 to get the tree professionally removed.

Dequarium Gayden, who owns the property, said his tree is not the problem, and pointed to a tree across the street as the problem.

“The city needs to cut down the trees over there so people can see,” Gayden said. “We see people all the time barely missing wrecks. If you’re not familiar with the street, you are going to miss that sign.

Gayden said he doesn’t think it would help to turn the intersection into a four-way stop, saying that would only “slow cars up here.”

Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said he would speak with his police chief about the frequent wrecks and survey the intersection.

If he and the chief find the trees and bushes a hazard, the next step is to ask the owner to remove it. Lockley said if the owner cannot or will not remove it, then the city can come in and cut the tree down if the need arises.

Lockley noted that no property owner can have anything that could be a hazard to drivers on their property.

“It is just like if you plant any type of hedges, and people cannot see,” he said. “Then we are responsible to notify the owner and resolve the matter. Citizens are not allowed to obstruct the view of traffic.”

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