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Neighbors seek changes after cars crash through brick wall

Several speeding drivers have hit wall, causing concern, neighbors say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Concerned families living along Greenland Road in Mandarin are calling for the city to make changes to what they call a dangerous curve, which has been made even more treacherous by speeding drivers.

Neighbors said those speeding drivers have repeatedly crashed into walls and fences along the road, even one with a playground on the other side.

“Guard rails would definitely help protect our community here,” said Morgan Traylor, who lives in one of the Mandarin neighborhoods plagued by the crashes.

News4Jax investigated Wednesday and found driver after driver taking the curve too fast.

The speed limit on Greenland Road is 45 mph, until drivers reach the curve just west of Mandarin High School, when the speed limit drops to 35 mph.

Drivers clocked with a radar gun Wednesday were going anywhere from 43 mph to 66 mph around the curve.

When drivers take the curve too fast, they can overcorrect, crossing the median and crashing into the brick wall lining the neighborhood, residents said.

Traylor said he is literally losing sleep at night because  one too many cars have crashed into his neighborhood's wall, which was visibly damaged Wednesday with a giant chunk missing.

News4Jax learned the damage was from a February crash but it hasn’t been fixed yet.

A car crashed just inches from a neighborhood playground in 2016. Neighbors said they were relieved the crash happened at night and no children were around.

Charity Watson said she was home when a car slammed into her daughter’s house, but fortunately her young grandchildren were at school.

She asked drivers to consider the consequences of being in such a hurry.

“Obey the speed limit and obey the law, because you got pedestrians, children, people like to walk and run during the day,” Watson said.

Traylor and his neighbors now fear the crashes will continue and bricks -- or even cars -- might be sent flying into their homes.

“We're all within 20 feet from this wall,” Traylor said. “(I'm concerned about) the safety of our kids and our backyards. They have playground equipment here. I have a swimming pool.”

Traylor's isn’t the only neighborhood where cars have run into walls.

A white fence down the road has been mowed down by a car four times in the last two years, according to one neighbor.

Traylor said he gave up about a year ago after emailing and speaking with City Councilman Matt Schellenberg’s office seeking changes for the road.

He said he told the councilman about the need to deter drivers from speeding but that he didn’t get much response other than being told radar detecting signs are too expensive.

News4Jax contacted Schellenberg on Wednesday, and he said he would look into the concern and get back to us.

The residents are hoping something will be done -- whether it's adding speed bumps, replacing palm trees in the median that have been knocked down in crashes or putting in guard rails. And they hope it's done before someone is hurt or killed.