Homeowners think stoplight could solve ongoing problem

Two neighboring Aloha homeowners whose houses have been run in to by passing cars are asking Washington County to do something about what they call a dangerous intersection.

Susan Schmidt and Gwen Tumlinson live next to each other where Southwest 196th Avenue connects with Southwest Rock Road at a T-intersection. Both of their properties have been repeatedly hit by motor vehicles that failed to make the turn over the past few years. by: COURTESY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Kimberly Veed was the second alleged drunk driver to crash into these homes in two days.

Two accidents happened within days of each other last week.

The homeowners see a possible solution for this ongoing hazard: They want the county to install a stoplight at the intersection, where right turns are currently permitted without stopping.

County officials said there is not enough traffic to justify a stoplight, however. They note a number of safety improvements have been made at the intersection over the years, including: a flashing traffic beacon; two street lights; a reflective yellow and black sign with a double arrow sign to indicate the required turn; and an enhanced turning radius on the southeast corner of the intersection to facilitate safer turns.

The officials also note the two most recent accidents involved drunk drivers.

The most recent accident happened around 4 p.m. on March 23, when a 2003 Honda Accord driven by 26-year-old Kimberly Veed of Portland missed the turn. It drove straight and wedged between the two homes, causing substantial damage.

Deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to the accident and determined Veed was driving under the influence of intoxicants. Her blood-alcohol level allegedly registered more than twice the legal limit. She was arrested for DUII and reckless driving.

During the investigation, deputies learned that another drunk driver had crashed into one of the properties two days earlier. Neither house was damaged in that accident.

Schmidt and Tumlinson believe the increasingly heavy traffic on nearby Tualatin Valley Highway is contributing to the accidents, because drivers are taking shortcuts through their neighborhood. County officials said traffic counts on the roads have not increased significantly over the past 10 years, however.

— KOIN Local News 6 contributed to this story.

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