Merced County Times Newspaper
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South Merced residents ask for help slowing traffic

‘A speed bump is not too big of an ask,’ says Sheng Xiong.
‘A speed bump is not too big of an ask,’ says Sheng Xiong.

A busy stretch of road has some South Mercedians complaining of dangerous driving and asking for action by county supervisors.

Residents along Cone Avenue between Highway 59 and G Street are saying that the 25 mph speed limit is regularly ignored by some drivers, who speed down the road despite the presence of children in the neighborhood. The road is a common detour for folks wanting to avoid congestion at Highway 59 and Childs Avenue.

Nobody has been injured yet, but according to local resident Yolanda Gonzales, there have been accidents due to speeding.

“Yeah, it’s crazy here,” said Gonzalez. “People have crashed and we have little ones out here.”

A number of residents, including Gonzalez, signed a petition asking county authorities to install speed bumps in the area. Their concerns were taken up by the valley-based Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, which took the matter to a recent meeting of the Merced County Board of Supervisors.

The portion of Cone Avenue being affected is roughly a quarter of a mile, and is sandwiched between Highway 59 and a sliver of city land that begins at Rios Street and encompasses a housing development. The residents live in a small pocket of land that still belongs to the county.

Sheng Xiong, a policy advocate for the Counsel who has spent time talking to local residents as well as public works staff, said the cost to install a couple of speed bumps would be very small.

“Asking for a speed bump is not too big of an ask,” Xiong said. “It’s not a big cost for a little safety in people’s neighborhoods.”

Residents of other neighborhoods have also brought forth concerns of speeding. South Merced resident Maria Calderone complained of similar problems on P Street, although the majority of P Street lies within the city boundaries. Nonetheless, she addressed supervisors in their meeting last week.

“I’m a grandmother and I have granddaughters that walk to school,” she said. “This is about our children, so please take care of that.”

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