- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 5, 2005

A silver sport utility vehicle paused briefly at the intersection of Montello Avenue and Neal Street in Northeast before squealing its tires as it peeled off in the wrong direction on Montello, past a group of young children playing on the sidewalk.

Dorothy Davis shook her head.

“Did you see that?” asked Miss Davis, one of a handful of Trinidad neighborhood residents who rallied yesterday afternoon for safer streets in the area. “You would’ve thought we planned that. It happens all the time.”

The D.C. Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and members of its Trinidad chapter joined the residents in front of the Holy Land Spiritual Temple Church on Montello Avenue, where they began a march through the neighborhood to bring attention to reckless driving.

The residents called for more prominent signage for motorists, who often come through the area at high speeds and driving the wrong way on one-way streets.

“We got a lot of kids, a lot of elderly,” said Paula Lee, an ACORN member and neighborhood resident. “They speed through there like they’re on [Interstate] 295. And there’s always accidents … they come through and take out the rear-view mirrors on the side of [parked] cars.”

Miss Lee said that crashes are a common occurrence in the area, which is home to an elementary school and recreational center.

“Sometimes they’ll be going too fast, run into the back of a car, pull off and keep on going. And that’s not like once a month; this goes on at least once a week.”

Tony Borom, who lives on Mount Olivet Avenue, said that officials gave word two months ago that signs and crosswalks in the intersections would be improved, but nothing has been done as of yet.

The organization invited D.C. Council members Vincent B. Orange Sr., Ward 5 Democrat; Adrian M. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat; and Kwame R. Brown, at-large Democrat. Officials from the District’s transportation department were also invited.

None attended the rally, though residents said they were not surprised.

“We’ve went to officials for traffic control and traffic services, and we’ve been getting the runaround,” Mr. Borom said. “So we’re going to continue to do what we feel is the right thing and what is safe for us.”

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