Homeowner getting fed up with wrecks

September 15, 2009 4:08:13 PM PDT
One homeowner's frustration is years in the making. His home seems like a target for suspected drunk drivers. When we first told you his story five years ago, his home had been crashed into four times. Since then, it's happened three more times. And now, he's worried someone will lose their life unless something changes.

When you wake up to find a vehicle smashed into your property, that's bad enough. But when it's happened seven times over five years, for a homeowner with whom we spoke, enough is enough. It's happened at his home at the intersection of Pecan Creek and North Kirkwood in west Houston.

"I don't feel that the city has done enough to rectify the problem that they created," said the man who owns the home that's been hit all those times.

He showed us photographs of all the vehicles that have smashed into his house since 2004, amounting to a whopping $57,000 in damage.

It's a problem neighbors say they have complained about ever since the city widened North Kirkwood, causing, they believe, more of these accidents to happen.

"They don't see the angle of the street and they run over," said neighbor Maximo Salazar.

The city says it has worked to solve the problem. It has installed rumble strips and a speed hump at the request of the residents. It's even proposing a reflective sign in front of the house to warn drivers of the stop.

"To me, this looks like this is probably a condition of enforcement for the driver who actually left the roadway," said Alvin Wright with the Houston Public Works Department.

But residents say they want more. They've proposed the city allow them to reduce the number of lanes entering the property, or at least put a gate at the entrance of their subdivision; two things they say the city so far has resisted.

"We just need the city to turn us loose and give us some help," said Homeowners Association President Charles Wood.

The homeowners association says it is willing to front the cost for any of the work that needs to be done, wondering what will have to happen to get what they want.

We talked with Houston City Councilmember Toni Lawrence, who says Public Works hasn't worked hard enough on the problem. She wants to get a meeting together with contractors and city engineers to work this out.

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