Community around 10-year-old killed in hit-and-run looks to cut down on speeders

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The community support around the family of Alexander Perez, a Winston-Salem boy killed in a hit-and-run in front of his home on Monday, continues to grow. However, so does the anticipation of knowing what happened during and before the fatal crash.

“The car was going so fast,” said George Gonzalez Perez, Alexander’s older brother. “He didn’t even know it was going to hit him.”

George -- along with his mother and sister -- watched as the accident happened on Wright Street around 3:25 Monday afternoon.

Police, on the other hand, still aren’t sure if the driver, 21-year-old Imani Stanley, was in fact speeding at the time. They are presently using the evidence they gathered at the scene to come to a conclusion.

City officials say they have no records of complaints or documentation of a large amount of speeders in the area. Yet, people living in the area say speeding has been, and continues to be, a major issue.

“My concern is for the people who don’t stay in this neighborhood, who continuously drive through our neighborhood at speeds [that are] not where [they are] supposed to be.” said Monique Parks, president of the Konnoak Elementary School PTA, who also happens to live up the road from the Perez household.

Parks says she is in the process of requesting help from her city officials to cut down on speeders in the neighborhood. She would like to see things like additional stop signs or speed bumps to slow drivers down.

“I do know that if speed was a factor, that a speed bump probably would have played a really big role in slowing somebody down,” Parks said. “With a speed bump, it makes you slow down or you’re going to tear your car up.”

The process for getting work like this done within Winston-Salem is lengthy and comprised of two stages.

The first stage begins with concern being raised by a resident. Next comes the formation of a traffic calming task force within the neighborhood. The task force then needs to put in a request for traffic calming with the city. The city would then review the request and perform a “qualitative assessment.”

The next step would be for the city to collect and analyze data. Upon completion, they would put the need into a category; either high or low priority. If it is found to be of low priority, they would consider low-cost, non-physical measures. If said measures had already been tried or deemed insufficient, they would move to stage 2.

Stage 2 would begin with conducting a neighborhood design charrette (defined as a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions). Next, they would develop a concept plan and determine a cost for the plan. Following that plan, there would be a neighborhood meeting held. In the meeting they would present the final traffic calming plan, and the plan would go to a vote.

If the plan is rejected, they would consider alternatives. If approved, they would need to identify funding sources for the project, followed by the development of an implementation plan. The plan would then be brought to the council.

If approved, the project would begin. If not, they would return to the beginning of stage 2.