Residents petition High Point over traffic on Johnson Street

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Michael Bellachio lives on Johnson Street and Farriss Avenue where over the past two years six cars have crashed and landed in his front yard.

"We had one car stop right here,” he said walking to the front steps of his porch.

In total, he’s spent about $3,000 in repairs to his lawn and front walkway, not to mention the anxiety he and other neighbors feel every time they walk outside.

"Most residents on this street fear the cars," Bellachio said.

He's one of 34 homeowners on historic Johnson Street who've signed a petition which was turned in to the city Monday, asking that the street be changed from high-traffic to residential in order to slow things down.

Neighbors have pictures of at least 19 of the crashes that have happened on the street in the last two years.

"We find that we're just getting torn apart here," Bellachio said.

Transportation Director Mark McDonald says a lot has to happen in order to change the street.

"It's a major connector route from other areas of the city to downtown," McDonald said.

He says the change would have to be approved by a city planning committee and then by the state department of transportation.

According to McDonald, there were only four crashes on Johnson Street in 2014 and 18 crashes, in total, over the last four years.

But even so, he says it may be time to make some adjustments.

“I'm concerned that they're concerned," McDonald said. "I think it's an issue that we need to address."

Residents have been gathering signatures for the past year and say they plan on fighting to change the street and lower the speed limit until it happens.

"We will be persistent, that I can guarantee you," Bellachio said.