Local residents concerned about speeding in residential areas

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 21, 2020

 Grayson McCarty, 10 months, holds his family’s sign in front of the radar trailer that Shelby Township police  placed on Southfield Drive in response to speeding complaints this month.

Grayson McCarty, 10 months, holds his family’s sign in front of the radar trailer that Shelby Township police placed on Southfield Drive in response to speeding complaints this month.

Photo provided by Melissa McCarty

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A local Shelby Township family is worried about the safety risks that are being taken with vehicles zooming up and down their street.

The McCarty family selected Shelby Township as their home, to raise their 10-month-old son Grayson, who will soon be running around and playing in their yard, as many kids do in that area.

Melissa McCarty said that she and her husband love living in Shelby Township, but the street doesn’t have speed limit signs, and recently, she has encountered people speeding up and down their street well above a safe speed.

“My husband Garret and I just moved to Southfield Drive in Shelby Township. We love our home, but the problem is, there is no speed limit signs. People zoom up and down the street all day long,” said McCarty.

She said she has reached out to the Police Department and the Macomb County Department of Roads, but due to COVID-19, not much could be done at the time.

“Our street is full of kids playing and lots of residents walking. … We are sad that nothing can be done to slow people down,” said Melissa McCarty.

She said that she recently put a sign in front of their house in hopes that it would remind people to slow down and that kids are often playing in the area.

Garret McCarty said he has seen some cars go at almost twice a normal residential speed limit, and with children running from house to house playing, it’s a huge potential hazard.

“Since our street is just off Van Dyke, people continue to drive as if they are on a main road — 40-50 mph at times. It’s very upsetting when people zoom up and down our street, a lot of the times clearly on their phones. We have a lot of children running house to house. It would be nice if people had some common courtesy and drive slowly as if it were their children that lived there,” said Garret McCarty.

He said there shouldn’t have to be a speed limit sign to make drivers slow down in a neighborhood.

“Be respectful and kind instead of in a selfish rush to get to where you’re going. We pray that nothing ever happens. Bottom line is, please slow down. Our neighborhood is not a racetrack. We hope it can make some sort of impact,” he said.

Melissa said she met with some of the other neighbors and found that they had noticed frequent speeding, too.

“The neighbors say this has been a problem for a while. They feel the same. Our next-door neighbor has a sign in their lawn, as well. I have submitted a request for our street for a speed limit sign about one month ago to the Macomb County (Department of Roads),” said Melissa McCarty.

She said she has not heard anything back, as of yet.

“The police only come out to do a lap and leave. They will not sit and watch traffic. I spoke to an officer that said they could not put up a speed radar, either, because it was damaged in an accident. He did not know if they were going to get another anytime soon due to COVID,” said Melissa McCarty.

On Sept. 10, an officer was sent out by the Shelby Township Police Department to speak with the residents about their concerns.

“It was Sgt. Mark Benedettini that came to our home. He gave his card with his direct line,” said Melissa.

A speed radar trailer was placed on the street near their home by the officer that day.

“I was first made aware this morning (Sept. 10) that a resident was concerned about speeding on Southfield (Drive). As soon as we were made aware there was an issue, we set up a radar sign to hopefully get people to slow down in this particular neighborhood,” said Benedettini.

Benedettini has been a member of the department’s traffic bureau for five years, and this is the first complaint he can recall on this particular street.

“As the township gets more populated, we are getting more and more traffic complaints on streets that normally aren’t problems,” he said.

Benedettini said that, typically, they place the radar trailer out for four to five days to give drivers in the area a “heads-up” that there is a speeding issue.

“The radar trailer has a sign posted with the speed limit and will inform drivers approaching the sign of their speed. After we take the radar trailer down, our traffic unit will conduct traffic details on the street, where we will run radar and enforce traffic laws,” he said.

Benedettini said that anyone who wishes to make a traffic complaint can go on the department’s website at shelbytwp.org/departments/police_department/traffic_enforcement_request.html and fill out a traffic enforcement request. Further, they can call the Shelby Township Police Department traffic bureau directly at (586) 731-2121, ext. 325, or email him directly at MBenedettini@shelbytwp.org.

“We rely on the residents to inform us of any traffic-related issues so we can target those particular problem streets for enforcement,” he said.

Melissa and Garret McCarty were thankful for the quick response.

“I have not seen the speeds, since the machine is directly in front of our house but not where I can see the numbers. People are slowing down, though, and it’s definitely made an impact thus far. We are very hopeful at this point that drivers will take notice that law enforcement is involved,” she said.

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