The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 5, 2013

Up in arms: Speeders in Waverley Historic District draw ire of residents

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Residents of Enid’s Historic Waverley District are up in arms about speeders through their neighborhood and have ordered signs warning drivers to slow down.

Speeders, especially down Oklahoma, are endangering the lives of the numerous children who live in the neighborhood, said Terri Presa, Waverley Historic District board member.

“We’re trying to get the signs up so people will slow down in the historical area,” Presa said. “We’ve had some near misses.”

Presa said one driver came “screeching” out of a business driveway, turned the corner of Harrison and hit her neighbor’s car.

“It was a hit and run,” she said.

Presa also said two cars were racing down Oklahoma when one swerved and nearly hit a 3-year-old boy playing in his driveway.

The Waverley board decided to purchase the signs with fundraising money and place them around the district to urge drivers to slow down before someone is killed.

 “We’ve called the police, but they can’t sit here 24 hours a day. We’re hoping this will detour a mishap,” Presa said.

The board vote was unanimous, with representatives of each street in the district on the board. Presa said the speed limit is 30 and probably should be dropped to 20 or 25.

“A lot of children live on those streets and walk back and forth to school. We are really concerned one of those children will be hit,” she said. “They can easily step from behind a car and if there is a car going 90 mph, it’s going way too fast. Even 40 is too fast.”

Oklahoma is a through street and one of four primary streets through the historic district. Cars park on both sides of the street in the district, and Presa said she fears an accident could easily happen.

Presa has owned her home since 2006, and she said all summer and into winter it has been a speedway through her block, the 1100 block of West Oklahoma.

“I realize Oklahoma, Cherokee, Maine and Broadway are through streets, and people act like they’re on Garriott and don’t consider it’s a neighborhood,” she said.

During the board meeting, other residents discussed similar problems on their streets, she said. The group agreed they needed to do something to slow people down in the historic district on straight through streets, she said.

Board member Tillie Sewell said the signs will be bright yellow and will be placed at several locations throughout the historic district. The city of Enid gave permission to erect the signs as long as they are not on public property. They will be placed on homeowners’ lots and moved periodically around the district, Sewell said.

The Waverley Historic District is from the 1100 block to the 1600 block of Oklahoma, Cherokee, Maine and Broadway, Harrison to Buchanan. It contains some of the oldest homes in Enid. The area was named to the National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 6, 2006. It includes 281 historic structures.