RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – People living in the Five Points area of Raleigh want something done about speeders in their neighborhood. This latest call for change comes after a driver slammed into a couple of businesses on Glenwood Avenue over the holiday weekend.
“The first thing I thought was anyone who’s outside is going to be dead,” said Amanda Durnell. She lives along Glenwood Avenue and watched as a car Raleigh police said was going 85 miles per hour went airborne.
She said she saw that car hit an electric pole and before ending up in a building along the 1800 block of N.C. 50/Glenwood Avenue. The driver of the car lost control and hit a telephone pole, which snapped and fell, blocking the road. The car then veered off to the right, drove through a patio area and into an art gallery, police said.
Raleigh police said the driver was cited.
Thanks to the holiday, the seats outside were empty.
“It’s crazy. If somebody would have been sitting out here, they would have been dead for sure,” said Dave Benson, who owns Third Place Coffee Shop.
He estimated about $20,000 in damage — enough to pay wages for several months.
“The material costs, the labor — it’s just horrible,” Benson said.
He chose to open up his doors Monday morning as usual. Benson wishes he’d at least get an apology from the driver.
“He didn’t even apologize or anything. When I was brought up, if I had done this, I would have been out here cleaning it,” Benson said.
Clean-up was left up to him and the other business owners.
“It destroyed everything outside of the restaurant and all of the furniture and all of that good stuff. Thankfully, everyone was OK,” said Shawn Watson, owner of Lilly’s Pizza.
It was the second time in two years a car crashed into Lilly’s Pizza.
“Just seems like it’s happened more here recently,” Watson said.
Neighbors said speeding along that stretch of Glenwood Avenue is only getting worse.
“It sounds like a drag race at night,” Durnell said.
Durnell has counted at least a dozen accidents and several cars rolling onto yards in the last year alone. She’s witnessed several fatal wrecks, too.
“We’ve contacted the city, we’ve wrote many letters, sent them a spreadsheet and people are going so fast,” she said.
While Glenwood Avenue is maintained by the state, other neighboring roads are city maintained. That makes speed reduction efforts complicated. Still, Durnell wants to see more stoplights or stop signs between the nearby five-way intersection and St. Mary’s Street, along with a roundabout at the five-way intersection.
While the neighborhood pleads for help, she wants drivers to take responsibility, too.
“Just go the speed limit. If you’re going to be late, be late but you’ll be alive,” Durnell said.