St. Mildred's Court residents hope front porch tour helps traffic problem

April 29, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Some homeowners on St. Mildred's Court hope that when residents come to tour their front porches Sunday they will drum up support to close their street to through traffic.

Some drivers, trying to avoid the traffic light at Lexington and Maple avenues, have turned the historic street into a race car track, John Ward said.

Ward, dean of Centre College, and his wife, Maryanne Cavanagh Ward, will host a public reception in their yard after the front porch walking tour. They live in the Overstreet House, the traditional home of the dean.

The Wards have lost a cat to the high-speed traffic. Another resident, Vince Pennington, said he was almost killed while mowing the lawn when someone drove up into his yard while trying to negotiate the tricky curve on the street.


The street was developed in the 1910s when the front porch was a Southern social center. Even though air conditioning and television may have drawn people indoors, the neighbors on St. Mildred's have remained close.

Almost all homeowners agree green space could form cul-de-sac

Last year, when they met with Police Chief Jeff Peek about the speeders on their street, nearly all the residents attended. They decided, with all but one homeowner in agreement, that a green space could be used to form a cul-de-sac, closing the street. Neighbors have agreed to take care of the area.

Theresa Nichols is not in favor of that plan. She said that she is concerned that the neighbors will not take care of the area, and thinks that there are other options, such as speed bumps or more police patrol.

Residents will get a chance to look at the situation up close during the front porch tour 3 -5 p.m. Sunday. Predominant architectural styles are colonial, classical and Tudor Revivals, and foursquare and bungalow.

"Don't we all long for that - to stroll down a historic street on a Sunday afternoon and visit with our friends and neighbors?" Julie Wagner, Heart of Danville director, said. "For one afternoon, you can do that in Danville."

The Heart sponsors the tour with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Centre has helped residents with parking problems

Centre College has already helped the residents with some parking problems. It created an off-street parking lot for students that live in campus housing on the street.

Still, the speed of traffic worries residents, especially because a number of young families with children have moved into the neighborhood, Sherry Martin, a resident, told members of the Danville City Commission Monday.

Peek told commissioners that he endorsed the idea because it is hard to enforce the speed limit on the street, and hard to have officers patrol it.

Martin and the residents were told by Commissioner Terry Crowley, who lives on the street, that the city needs to consider several options before it consents to close the street to be sure to make the right decision.

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