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N4T Investigators: Burden Barriers UPDATE - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Burden Barriers UPDATE

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TUCSON- This is a News 4 Tucson Investigators follow up we first brought you in September. These are traffic barriers designed to make streets safer, but some say it's actually doing the opposite.

Chicanes are like speed humps and traffic circles where they're designed to slow traffic down. The problem is they require maintenance and if no one cuts the branches or pulls the weeds around them, some feel they become a traffic hazard. Some around the city feel it reached that point over the summer.

"it's hard to tell where they're supposed to be," said Brad Wilkinson, as he observed tree branches encroaching into the street. "Five to ten feet sticking out in the road."

"If they would just cut them it would be fine if you keep them trimmed," said Robert Wilson.
 

"Either way you're not able to see any cars come here, toward you, so that just makes it dangerous especially if you're biking," said University of Arizona sophomore Jack White.

Our camera was rolling when we saw a truck driver completely stop before the bicycle passed. The N4T Investigators wanted to know who is responsible for maintaining these chicanes. We found out it's not the City of Tucson's responsibility, but rather Northwest Neighborhood Association.

However one Saturday morning in October, that all changed. Volunteers from the U of A Lacrosse Team and some from the Northwest Neighborhood Association cut, raked, and removed any excess plant life from traffic barriers.

"It is kind of eye opening to see that it is more of a problem than originally expected," said White. My friend lives right there so I'm down here all the time, it's quite annoying."

"Trees grow very fast and you have to keep them maintained," said Leona Davis, the president of Northwest Neighborhood Association. Davis said "too much rain" was the reason the plants grew too long and there was no one there to maintain them.

 

"We've all got our own yards to take care of and other business to tend to so they've kind of gotten a little out of hand," said John Dahlstrand, vice president of Northwest Neighborhood Association.

We asked the question, "how can you make sure they don't grow to a point where they don't end up becoming a traffic hazard?"

"Again, just regular maintenance," said Davis.

But when the N4T Investigators asked Davis how often they will have to be maintained, she said the trees and plants will be trimmed twice a year. When that exactly happens is unclear.

If you have a story for the N4T Investigators, email investigators@kvoa.com or call the tipline 520-955-4444.

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