Ruskin speed dilemma: Please put safety first

Ruskin Drive-California Avenue is basically a country road with many perils.

Three very bad accidents occurred recently along the curved section of road: Four teenagers crashing into a large tree carried there by inertia; a motorcycle crossing the road and skidding over 100 feet out of control witnessed as being caused by speed and inertia; and a vehicle with two adults and four children hitting an embankment and flipping over caused by a tire blowout likely coupled with speed.

Seeing the aftermath of the three accidents that I am aware of was absolutely horrific for my neighbors and myself.

This letter is partially in response to a less informed individual providing an opinion that the speed limit should be increased without taking into account issues of public safety.

There are many reasons that the speed limit is 25 miles per hour — including children, most importantly.

Other reasons include joggers, bicycles, no berms, no sidewalks, ponding water, telephone poles close to the road, a deep drainage ditch drop off along California Avenue, hidden driveways disregarded by nearly everyone, brush and landscaping limiting a safe means for pedestrians to get off the road, being a shortcut residential neighborhood route, pressure created by tailgating speeders on drivers who would otherwise not speed and very poor sight line distances.

What I find really disturbing is that my neighbors on Ruskin Drive — above and below where many don’t pay taxes to the city — choose to ignore the significance speeding has on depreciating the value of housing in the entire neighborhood.

Instead of fighting against calls for safety and precaution, we should all be fighting for better neighborhoods that are safe and accommodating for all, especially children.

Ruskin Drive is the longest unimpeded roadway of its kind in the city. We don’t necessarily like the idea of stop signs being erected at four points of poor sight line visibility, but if safety concerns are not addressed by drivers in light of a recent significant increase in traffic speed limit, slow and curve signage there will be no other means for the city of Altoona to insure the public safety along with serenity and value of the neighborhood.

Operating a vehicle significantly over the speed limit may cost you a ticket issued by the police.

I plead with you to please consider the meager worthiness of saving two minutes or less and getting that dreaded ticket vs. the paramount importance of public safety.

Richard C. Slutzker



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