While not a specific item on the Oakdale City Council agenda, one particular issue keeps popping up in public comment as more citizens have voiced their concern, displeasure, and frustration over complaints that the D Street traffic has become a major problem.
The main complaint appears to be excessive speed by motorists using the side street as a faster alternative to the main highway, which, according to residents, has turned into a dangerous drag strip, putting everyone at risk.
At one particular City Council meeting, a resident stood before council to share that his dog had recently been hit by a speeding motorist — and his story was not isolated. Many others have shared losing pets to fast traffic on that particular stretch of street.
While the loss of a pet is devastating, the concern that next time it will be a child is front and center in residents’ minds.
“We have cars going 45-50 mph, easily, on D Street,” the resident shared. “What I’m asking is if we can look into something to install speedbumps or stop signs to slow down the traffic.”
While information requests from The Oakdale Leader on traffic statistics in that area were not returned, Oakdale City Police Chief Scott Heller stated they were working with the city’s engineering department on the issue.
“We referred it to our traffic safety committee. So it’s a current agenda item. We discussed with the team and some ideas were being put forward.”
Others, frustrated by the often slow-turning wheels of government, expressed their own ideas on how to address the issue.
Tom Lachlan went up to the podium, saying, “I’ve lived on D Street for 30 years and it’s nothing but a speedway. If the police don’t know nothing about it, something’s wrong. It’s so simple to fix … give me permission and we’ll buy the signs and put them up ourselves … what’s so hard about that? If you lived there and your kid got run over, what would you do? Does it have to be a kid before you do something about it?”
Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer echoed Heller, saying, “We take the concerns of all our residents very seriously. The police department has allocated additional traffic patrols to this area and is demonstrating a more visible presence. Additionally, we have referred this issue to the City’s traffic review committee to develop some other options to help address the concerns of the D Street residents. We plan to continue to work on this.”
And while the wheels of government move more slowly than many people would prefer, the issue does seem to be a concern that the city is looking to address within its capabilities.
The Oakdale Leader will continue to follow this developing story.