SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Community leaders are asking for the city of Sacramento to help prevent car crashes in the Oak Park neighborhood by providing more road safety measures.
According to the Sacramento Police Department, nine cars have crashed into the Arbors at Oak Park building since 2014. It’s a senior living apartment complex located on Broadway and MLK Boulevard, near the end of the Y intersection. The latest car crash happened Tuesday morning where police say the driver died after crashing into the building.
Patricia Rodriguez has been living next to the Arbors at Oak Park for 18 years. Rodriguez blames the repeated car crashes over the years on reckless driving in the area, such as speeding or driving under the influence.
"I'm not surprised about how many accidents have happened,” Rodriguez said. "The intersection is very busy. You hear a lot of screeching, brakes, crashes and sometimes, a boom. I'm always a defensive driver. I'm always making sure that I'm watching 28 different ways versus just in front of me.”
Michael Benjamin II is with the Oak Park Neighborhood Association, a nonprofit organization on a mission to "make Oak Park the best neighborhood in Sacramento to live, work and play."
As a community leader, activist and citizen, Benjamin is placing some of the blame on reckless driving, like speeding, and gentrification in the predominately Black community. He wants the city of Sacramento to conduct a traffic safety report to find out what more can be done to prevent vehicle crashes and save lives.
"It's troublesome, and it's something that needs to be looked at,” Benjamin said. "I think that this is a byproduct of development. When the community is not involved in the devilment of things, voices are not heard. We can’t just throw buildings up and not think about how it's going to impact the whole ecosystem of the community. But, the city can come up with some solutions to help slow that traffic down.
ABC10 reached out to the city of Sacramento. Here’s the full statement:
"The City of Sacramento is committed to taking actions to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries throughout the City as part of our Vision Zero Program. The portion of Broadway between MLK Jr. Boulevard and Stockton Boulevard is a priority corridor as part of this program and was included in the Vision Zero Top 5 Corridors Plan, approved by City Council in February 2021. The Department of Public Works is actively working to implement these improvements on Broadway between MLK Jr. Boulevard and Stockton Boulevard."