Drivers traveling Cherokee Avenue complain of ditches

(WTVM) -- Drivers traveling along Cherokee Avenue may or may not notice the unguarded ditches on the side of the road. Several cars have wrecked and ended up in the ditch and many drivers say its unsafe.

For the past two years, many people in Columbus have complained to city officials about the ditches along Cherokee Avenue, saying they're unsafe to drivers, we took some of those concerns back to City Manager Isaiah Hugley.

It may not look like it, but the driver of this van lived to tell her story. This is how the accident ended, after colliding with two other cars and landing right in this ditch of Cherokee Avenue.

"We've had much discussion, even before this accident that occurred before today. We questioned whether to put rails up," said Columbus City Manager Isaiah Hugley. "We looked into getting guard rails, but it would cost us $150,000. We also discussed wether to convert the four lanes to three lanes."

Hugley says, its not the ditches or the road that's causing the accidents.

The speed limit on Cherokee Avenue is 35 miles per hour, Hugley says drivers often ignore the signs.

"Over the years I think we've had a total of about 5 vehicles to end up in the creek. And at least five, if not all five, after being investigated, it was determined they were traveling too fast for conditions," said Hugley.

And the police report states the driver of this car was traveling south bound and Cherokee Avenue over the speed limit and hit a curve.

Hugley says the city has done things in the past to try to make speeders slow down on this road like putting down rumble strips.

"But some of the neighbors complained at night they could hear the cars go over them and it was ruining their quality of life," said Hugley.

So city officials had the strips taken up and now they just rely on police to enforce a zero tolerance policy.

Hugley says at this point the city is not considering any changes such as rails or barriers here, they just strongly encourage drivers to be safe and slow down when coming around this curve here on Cherokee Avenue.