Some time ago, I emailed Mayor Don Ness about this. I also emailed Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken, and I recall him telling me that he would forward my note to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. I once even talked to a Minnesota state trooper about the excessive speed of traffic on Central Entrance and North Blackman Avenue.
It’s hard enough getting into traffic there as a motorist or turning. It’s much harder to cross Central Entrance on foot.
I have seen numerous car accidents in my five-plus years living there, but the accident on Nov. 6 was the cat’s meow. I was sitting in my living room when I heard sirens ring out not long after I heard a very loud smack. I looked out toward Central Entrance and saw an ambulance westbound on its driver’s-side wheels only. The passenger’s-side wheels seemed to me to be two feet off the ground. Great job by the ambulance crew to maintain control and to get the rig on all wheels without plowing into oncoming traffic. That could have resulted in deaths.
Setting up a machine alongside the road to alert motorists of the speed they are traveling only tells them what they already know.
Duluth Police said a 19-year-old motorist ran a stop sign and struck the ambulance. The motorist was cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, a stop sign violation, driving after revocation, no insurance, and expired registration. (The accident was reported in the News Tribune under the headline, “Ambulance hit in Duluth two-car crash.”)
How many more such motorists and vehicles are out there? My personal opinion: no current registration, no insurance.
During warmer months, we in my neighborhood like to walk with or without our pets. But this can prove nearly impossible due to the near misses we have with dangerous traffic.
The first responders to the Nov. 6 accident did an excellent job, and traffic was detoured. Nonetheless, I saw a car speed up North Blackman Avenue as though it was the North Blackman 500 Raceway!
What will it take for a controlled intersection at North Blackman Avenue and Central Entrance? A death?
The cars going up and down North Blackman Avenue scare me sometimes with their excessive speeds. Sometimes they speed down the middle of the avenue, and, as they crest the hill, a car could be coming from the other direction. There would be no time to react. Then, CRASH!
Around the clock this goes on with vehicles and motorcycles on Central Entrance and on North Blackman Avenue. You can hear the vehicles at all hours building up speed; they get louder and louder as they approach. It’s like living next to a drag strip sometimes.
I hate these boomboxes on wheels, vibrating through the walls and windows, their motorists wearing earbuds so they can’t hear sirens. Too many motorists aren’t paying attention to what is happening around them.
The ambulance that was struck had its sirens blaring. I can’t think of an excuse for running that stop sign.
Out walking, I see a lot of stop signs ignored. I always said someday somebody would be T-boned at that intersection. Something needs to be done about North Blackman Avenue and Central Entrance.
Paul D. Strauss is a retired federal firefighter who lives on Blackman Avenue.