A petition that asks the Florida Department of Transportation to add a crosswalk, signage and lighting to the 4100 block of Herschel Street has been circulating in Avondale.
"The traffic on Herschel Street is a danger to the patrons visiting the area,” according to the petition, which states: “Due to heavy periods of traffic and/or high speeds, patrons are left exposed to this traffic for extended periods of time.”
Sonya Hamlin, Studio Manager of Soluna Yoga + Spa, said she created the petition as a precaution.
"We created this petition basically as a concern to the patrons in the neighborhood,” Hamlin said. “Sitting here at the desk I can see families’ everyday with small children waiting to cross the street, just exposed the fast traffic. Elderly individuals and disabled individuals too...really just sometimes fighting for their life just to cross the street.”
The petition calling for improved pedestrian and traffic safety follows the death of Dillon Mullis, 23, who died last month. He was heading south on Herschel when his motorcycle struck a SUV. “The unfortunate fatal accident in March has been more of catalyst to get this done and provide more safety in the area,” Hamlin said.
Because there is limited parking by the store side, many patrons are forced to park across the street. The speed limit in the area is 30 mph, but Hamlin said vehicles speed through the street.
At last check the petition had between 420 and 450 signatures, according to Hamlin. When the petition reaches 500 signatures she will present to the Florida Department of Transportation.
Support for the crosswalk is strong in the community, and is something that has been brought up frequently by customers and other business owners, according to Hamlin. She said the petition has also gotten support from the city, and messages to the city council and mayor have all received a response.