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A car once crashed and landed in Jesse Arriaga’s side yard, coming to a stop just a few feet shy of his house and fenced backyard.
Another time, a speeding car slammed into a curb diagonal from his house and went spinning across the intersection, hitting the opposite curb so hard that the car caught air, landing upside down not far from Arriaga’s front door.
So many cars have crashed into his property in the past 30 years that he’s lost count — at least five or six.
All four houses squaring up the intersection of Oak Cliff Boulevard and Twelfth Street have been struck, one of them just this past September. And the driver of a speeding car died, injuring three others, after colliding with a DART bus on Twelfth and Polk Street in July.
Neighbors say Twelfth is a speedway between Hampton Road and Edgefield Drive, a four-lane stretch of about 3/4 of a mile that has no stop signs or lights. The street is entirely residential, lined with side-facing cottages, but it contains no speed-calming mechanisms.
The heavily trafficked road encourages high velocity and drag racing, neighbors say. And they say the City of Dallas has ignored the problem for 30 years.
After a speeding truck crashed into a house on Twelfth in April, City Councilman Scott Griggs created a police task force on speeding and illegal street racing. That resulted in 140 traffic tickets there from April-September.
But neighbors along the corridor say speed traps are not making them safer, and they’re demanding traffic-calming measures.
The thoroughfare also includes the north-facing façade of Greiner Middle School, and morning drop-off sometimes results in students darting across traffic.
South Winnetka resident Fran Gaconnier remembers that a car hit a Greiner student five years ago resulting in a broken arm. She says drop-off has improved but that there could be more safety education and enforcement.
Some homeowners say they want a traffic light halfway between Hampton and Edgefield. But Griggs and Michael Rogers, the city’s director of transportation, suggested alternatives including restriping the road to three lanes — two each way and a middle turn lane.
Major changes to the road require a thoroughfare amendment, which requires approval from City Council and takes a minimum of about three months to approve.
Rogers will meet with homeowners at Sunset Hill Neighborhood Association’s next meeting Nov. 13 to come up with short-term strategies for calming traffic as well as ideas for permanent solutions.