Residents on Revelwood Drive call for speed humps
Not all neighbors in the Callonwood subdivision are acting neighborly on the roads according to witnesses who live and work there. Fearing for the safety of their children, residents who live on Revelwood Dr. have contacted the Callonwood Home Owners Association, police and the Union County Weekly in hopes of slowing down speeders and stop sign runners.
About a dozen children live along the short stretch of Revelwood and parents say their kids prefer to play outside with their neighbors: something they’d like to encourage in a day when many children sit isolated and entranced in rooms with video games and TV.
“Our kids like to play outside and we’re concerned for their safety because of speeders,” said the father of a family who requested anonymity. “During school there’s a red (Toyota) Camry that must be doing close to 60 (MPH) through here around 6:30 most mornings,” he said. “There’s also a white BMW and others who speed and run stop signs.”
Speeders aren’t the only danger to children. The father mentioned a recent incident in which a man in a white van tried to persuade a child to get in on nearby Aringill Lane. “The boy ran into the bushes and hid until he left,” he said.
Approximately 60 vehicles passed along Revelwood on Tuesday evening over a 30-minute period starting at 6 p.m. – an average of two per minute. Entering the neighborhood in the evening, drivers are partially blinded by the sun and many are chatting on cell phones while pedestrians ride bicycles, walk dogs, and jog along Revelwood. There’s also a curve that restricts visibility.
Mateo Santos of Charlotte sees a lot from up on his ladder and agrees that speeding is a problem in the neighborhood. Santos is part of a framing crew that has been working on a new home along Revelwood for a week. “Sometimes people here drive very fast,” he said, “maybe 50 MPH.” Santos said he and his crew have been concerned for their safety a few times while getting tools in and out of their vehicle parked on the street.
Who’s in charge? Split jurisdiction causes confusion
Callonwood – a mixed neighborhood of estate, single family and town homes – is divided between the towns of Stallings and Indian Trail for police and road service, which adds a level of complexity in a community where over half (residing in the Stallings town limits) also have a mailing address in Matthews, where the nearest post office is in Mecklenburg County. Stallings has its own police department, while Indian Trail contracts with the Union County Sheriff’s Department for coverage.
Jurisdiction for roads, road humps, and other maintenance and improvements along Revelwood lies with the town of Indian Trail. Law enforcement is provided by the Union County Sheriff’s Department. However, in over half of Callonwood the town of Stallings and the Stallings Police Department are responsible.
Speed humps the best solution?
The neighborhood speed limit in Callonwood is 25 MPH, and signs are posted along the street warning drivers to slow down for children. But some frustrated residents insist a speed hump is the best option to consistently slow speeders on Revelwood. “The road is wide here, and there’s no median to help slow drivers like there is at the other entrance,” said the concerned father, ”the only real solution is a speed hump, but nobody can tell me who to talk to about getting one.”
Fred Weber, Callonwood HOA president, said that the police have been responsive. “The Union County Sheriff has set up a RADAR trailer twice now,” he said. “The visibility definitely helps.”
“The police have been responsive when we call,” agreed one mother, “but they are only here for a few weeks and when they leave, the speeding resumes. Once, they parked the RADAR trailer right at a stop sign when most people at least slow down,” she said.
Lieutenant Chase Coble of the Union County Sheriff’s Department, who is responsible for the Indian Trail contract deputies that cover Callonwood, could not be reached for comment on this story before press time.
A former volunteer firefighter, Weber said he dislikes the idea of speed humps because it bounces equipment around in the truck for firefighters responding to incidents. “The police I’ve talked to said speed humps should be a last resort,” he added.
Weber said the HOA arranged a meeting for residents to voice their concerns to Union County Sheriff’s deputies, but only a few residents from the Indian Trail side attended. “We will plan another meeting to encourage participation from those residents,” he said.
According to Weber, Abbot Enterprises, the HOA management company for Callonwood, sent out an e-mail in response to some of the complaints about speeding on Revelwood. “We tell residents to contact their respective police departments or towns,” he said. “There’s not a lot more we can do as an HOA.”
Some residents are concerned that without a speed hump, when Summer ends, the danger of speeders will compound for children waiting at bus stops.
“It’s been getting worse,” said a mother who has lived in the area for five years. “I’m just afraid that someone will end up hurt like the little girl who was hit in Brandon Oaks while sledding back in January. That road was wide too.”