Residents living along Franklin Boulevard demand change after seeing hundreds of crashes

CLEVELAND - It’s a stretch of road that has seen hundreds of crashes, one of them killed a couple crossing the street.

People who live along Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland are now demanding change.

Wednesday night, they met with the City of Cleveland to craft a plan to improve safety and the quality of life along the busy stretch of road.

"We've got to the point where it's just too much, it's just not safe," said Michelle Sommerfelt.

That’s how Sommerfelt describes the traffic that passes her historic Franklin Boulevard home.

Each day, on average, 3,500 cars use Franklin Boulevard. The boulevard connects two popular parts of town, Gordon Square and Ohio City.

"People regularly top 35 mph," said Sommerfelt.

The posted speed limit is 35 mph, despite the road cutting right through a neighborhood.

"Detroit right next to us is 25 mph, that isn't a residential street, and so Madison," said Angie Schmitt.

In the last four years, there have been more than 150 accidents along Franklin, dozens of them involved injuries.

"Kind of alarming for like a residential road," said Adam Davenport, Detroit Shoreway Community Development.

Over the last couple of years, Cleveland Police set-up portable radar speed signs to try and increase enforcement.

"Which served as a deterrent, folks would slow down. Those machines got vandalized," said Sommerfelt.

Homeowners want to see the speed limit lowered to 25 mph and traffic calming strategies implemented. Those include extending curbs at intersections, which will shorten crosswalks and get drivers' attention.

"They have to worry a little bit more about whether they are going to hit something," said Schmitt.

Schmitt tells News 5 she is afraid for her family's safety. One of the many accidents on Franklin killed a couple crossing the street near her home.

"You have to be driving pretty fast to have a lethal speed, so that should never happen on a street like this and it did a few years ago, so we can do better," said Schmitt.

You probably wonder why a residential neighborhood has a 35 mph speed limit.

Ohio revised code states if a road is more than a mile in length the speed needs to be above 35 mph.

It includes residential areas, but not commercial districts like nearby Detroit Avenue.

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