MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Residents held back tears following Tuesday’s meeting with local leaders, as officials outlined a path forward to curb the speeding on Ives Dairy Road.
The mission is to protect lives and provide peace of mind for those living near this so-called raceway.
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“I’m overwhelmed in a phenomenal way,” said resident Sheri Rosenthal.
Rosenthal’s backyard Tuesday turned into a town hall discussion.
“NE 12th avenue turns to a flashing yellow [late at night],” said Rosenthal. “Why?”
Rosenthal outlines nine suggestions to make Ives Dairy road safer.
On hand listening: residents, District 1 Commissioner Oliver Gilbert and several Miami-Dade police members.
“This is my home,” exclaimed Rosenthal to those in attendance. “This is my community. I don’t want to be chased out of my community.”
Vice Chairman Gilbert and the officers understand the cries for help.
“Ultimately, if you’re sitting in your front yard, you’re sitting in your house, you don’t expect and shouldn’t have to worry about a car coming through the wall,” shared Gilbert.
Gilbert does not live off Ives Dairy Road. However, he shares a recent experience with a car slamming through his gate and hitting his car.
“Rammed through the metal rod gate,” said Gilbert. “It’s actually very heavy. This is what woke me up. Thank God… my son, myself, and we weren’t actually hurt. It’s just a fence. It’s just a car. With other people, it’s actually their lives.”
His story is one of many.
We stumbled upon another accident even as we toured the road following the meeting.
Commissioner Gilbert says on Ives Dairy Road, between 441 and 95, there have been approximately 13 hit-and-runs this year.
“People deserve to be safe,” said Gilbert. “How can we do it?”
At the meeting, Miami-Dade police pledged a more prominent presence on Ives Dairy Road.
“When we’re not here, it’s a free for all,” shared Maj. Thomas Buchanan of Miami-Dade Police.
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From May 2 through May 7, MDPD issued 35 total moving citations, 28 considered hazardous, meaning propensity to damage property or injure people.
Next step, the county’s transportation, and public works department will do a traffic study.
They’ll collect data, share findings, and create solutions to curb speeding and lessen accidents.
“If you give us that array of solutions and possibilities, we can talk about this is what we can move forward with,” said Gilbert.
He expects results from the study within two weeks.
Rhonda Jules’ home cam captures collision after collision at the Ives Dairy Road and San Simeon Way intersection.
“You said you sleep in fear, sleep scared,” said CBS4’s Joe Gorchow to Jules.
“Yes,” replied Jules. “Jump up out of sleep sometimes, and the first thing we do is go to the wall to see if anyone is hurt.”
Residents like Debbi Alonso pray the speeding stops in the area after a car recently smashed into her backyard, destroying her above-ground pool and mobile home.
“Uneasiness every time you hear a car honk or screeching of tires,” Alonso said.
On Tuesday, though, the fear subsides.
Residents are joyful with assurances help is soon on the way, following a meeting more than three years in the making.
Long-term solutions from road design to barriers protecting homes and pedestrians are on the table, including creating better crosswalks.
Residents suggest that drivers may only turn left with a green turn signal at the Ives Dairy and San Simeon Way intersection.
It might slow traffic down, but even officers agree it could save lives.
First, the county needs to complete its traffic study.
We’re told it will be completed within a couple of weeks.
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In the meantime, MDPD will issue more citations to deter drivers from racing on Ives Dairy Road in the short term.