To the editor:
The tragic vehicle-pedestrian incident in the 1600 block of Tennessee illustrates a perpetual, unaddressed danger in portions of the Oread Neighborhood, where on many nights, large numbers of people are in the streets, on foot and in cars, inebriated and sober, and the city and KU have not, through policy, ordinance or enforcement, made a dent in this problem.
When something horrendous does happen, the streets fill with emergency vehicles. But when I call 911 because I see hundreds of people, some staggering, many with drinks in hand, and others jumping into vehicles and speeding off, weaving around those in the street, I have been asked, “And you’re calling because?” I was told there is one patrol officer, usually busy, for this area. I have talked to neighborhood resource officers, and I know about budget cuts, but these are not sleepy, residential areas, but known party blocks where people typically drive 40 mph.
Parties are predictable every year: certain weeks, during good weather, on game days, and everyone knows this. “Buddy” T-shirts and cautionary fliers are nice but can be filed under “tip of the iceberg.”
We are immune to the noise and the mayhem (FYI those planning on telling me to move), but we will never get used to the fear of knowing that someone’s child may be injured, or worse, maybe during their first few weeks away from home. Every night that partiers overflow into streets with fast-moving traffic, tragedy is just waiting to happen.