Pueblo neighborhood says dangerous intersection needs change

Video Neighbors call for street lights at troublesome Pueblo intersection

PUEBLO, Colo. - People living in the Mesa Junction neighborhood of Pueblo are calling on the city of Pueblo to do something about a troublesome intersection.

They say there's a real threat to neighbors and kids playing nearby because so many people running through the stop signs at Polk Street and Orman Avenue.

Polk and Orman is a four way intersection with 4 stop signs. In front of each stop sign is another reminder for drivers to hit the brakes. 

The city recognized the problem last year, after complaints, and even wrote "stop" in large letters on the ground in front of each stop sign. But neighbors say they're worthless.

"If they aren't looking up at a stop sign the drivers are not looking down at the ground," said Shirley Allenback.

Allenback lives just down the street from the intersection and has been complaining to the city about the problem for seven years now. Throughout this time, Allenback has been calling for traffic lights to fix the speeding and running stop sign problem.  

"We've had accidents here, there was a car drove into this lady's tree in her yard, and the tree has been cut down," said Allenback. "A lady was killed several years back after another accident in this area. I've had vehicles in my yard, while my vehicles in the street have been hit by speeding vehicles."

Allenback says she recalls an instance where a driver received a speeding citation, and then another one on the same intersection just ten minutes apart. 

KRDO reached out to Pueblo Police for further citation. In 2018, they logged 11 traffic stops, four citations, and one accident near the intersection. So far in 2019, there have been nine traffic stops and only two citations at the intersection.

Neighbors say drivers are on their best behavior when squad cars patrol the intersection. 

"As long as we have an officer here, the cars are fine," said Allenback. "They'll stop, but once the officer leaves it's just like before."

Allenback believes the heavy traffic stems from being close to three schools, including Pueblo Central High School and Pueblo Community College. 

To protect themselves from dangerous drivers, neighbors are taking some inventive preventative measures.

Giovanna Allenback uses large boulders and tree stumps to barricade her home from speeders as well as fences.

This neighborhood has no shortage of kids either. The Allenbacks won't let their children outside without direct supervision because of the traffic dangers.

With the state fair coming soon, the Allenbacks say traffic will only get worse.

The city of Pueblo tells KRDO they will conduct a traffic engineering study of Polk Street and Orman Avenue and examine the best option moving forward.

But Allenback says she's been down this road before.

"I was told they did not have enough money to put up flashing lights or there are too many trees in this area," said Allenback. "We've just been given these stories the past seven years."

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