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Heller Park neighborhood wants help with 'non-stop' problem at 3-way intersection

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 18:37:18-04

TULSA, Okla. — Residents in Tulsa's Heller Park neighborhood near 55th Street and Lewis Avenue hope the city gets a grip on a “non-stop problem”. They say, most drivers do not obey the signs at the three-way stop intersection there.

One resident even captured video of a city truck and a school bus ignoring the stops.

“It has been going on about as long as I can remember,” said Karen Stauss, a 17-year-long Heller Park neighborhood resident.

Most traffic is headed westbound.

“They just come flying down off of Lewis,” Stauss said.

The speed limit in the neighborhood is 25. During 2 News’s visit, the team spotted many obedient drivers and some rolling stops, but neighbors say the danger is highest during rush hour.

“Sooner or later, we’re going to have somebody get ran over,” John Brown said, four-year-long resident of the Heller Park neighborhood. “We’ve talked to the Tulsa police department, Mayor’s Action, the city council. Everybody agrees it’s a problem, nobody wants to do anything about it.”

Brown and his wife own an in-home daycare. Their concerns have forced them to point home security cameras at the intersection. They see cars running the stop signs daily.
“We have city vehicles run it. Tulsa public school buses run it,” Brown said.

Thursday morning, he recorded what looks like a city truck being driven right through the intersection without pause. On May 25, Brown's camera also caught a TPS school bus that did not stop.

“Something’s gotta be done. Speed bumps might help deter it.”

The manager of communications for Tulsa Public Schools says they investigate every traffic incident report.

"Safety is always a priority for Tulsa Public Schools, and we hold everyone on our team to the highest of standards. Any time there is a report of a traffic incident, we complete a thorough internal investigation. While we are not able to share confidential employee information, we can share that any employee found to have violated traffic laws would be subject to immediate disciplinary action. We encourage any parents or community members who have feedback or concerns about transportation at Tulsa Public Schools to contact the customer care team at 918-833-8100."
Lauren Partain, senior communications manager, Tulsa Public Schools

The City of Tulsa is looking into whether the area is already on their radar for a speed hump project.

City staff ask residents to report city vehicle traffic violations to 311 with a plate number.

The City also offers neighborhoods a “speed hump program”. The application is online.

Heller Park neighbors say they will continue to do what it takes to get attention to this problem.

Tulsa residents with concerns about disobedient drivers are advised to call the Tulsa Police Department’s non-emergency line at (918) 596-9222.

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