County must address traffic near Oak Table

Vintage at Silverdale is a senior HUD apartment complex on the hill overlooking Silverdale. Parking for the complex consists of reserved parking on the front side of the building. There is also parking for residents and visiting family and friends on the upper parking lot of the complex. This parking lot only has two staircases to reach the upper parking lot.

Being seniors, there are those who use wheelchairs, walkers and canes who must use the road to reach the upper parking lot in order to get to their cars, walk their dogs and enjoy the outside. Since the construction of The Oak Table Cafe, traffic has increased so severely that it has become extremely dangerous for residents of the apartment complex, as well as the customers who must walk up the hill to the restaurant.

The restaurant’s parking lot becomes full very quickly. Many try to use the apartment complex parking lot for overfill, which takes away from residents and visiting family and friends, especially on the weekends, the busiest time of the restaurant. There are no posted speed limit signs or marked pedestrian walkways. There are no speed bumps to slow the speed of cars and delivery trucks traveling to and from The Oak Table Cafe.

When coming out of the apartment complex driveway, there is no sign directing restaurant traffic to yield for pedestrians or vehicles coming out of the complex’s parking lots. When we ask motorists driving to and from the restaurant to slow down, we get one-finger signals or obscenities yelled at us. Some motorists have been civilians, some have been in military uniform.

I have lived at Vintage at Silverdale now for six years and have seen “progress” moving in up the hill. Now, we have 18 homes to be built up on the hill above the apartment complex and The Oak Table Cafe. Traffic is going to get worse before it gets better.

Someone is going to be injured or killed with the traffic becoming heavier. Delivery trucks, construction equipment, and heavier traffic need to be addressed. Too many near-misses have already happened and we need to have the county look into an already dangerous situation.

There are no division lines in the road to the restaurant, there are no clear pedestrian walkways and there are no speed limit signs on the road going to or coming from The Oak Table Cafe. The one speed limit sign posted at the bottom of the hill was posted years ago by the apartment complex when the apartment complex was first built; it reads 5 mph. It is obscured by trees and no one — I mean no one — obeys the sign.

What we need are true state-enforced speed limit signs, big with flashing lights. The owner of The Oak Table Cafe should share in the cost. When construction began on The Oak Table Cafe, we were told the owner would construct a dog walk area to replace the area lost to construction of the restaurant. We were also told by Vintage at Silverdale management that food coupons would be given to residents as a thank you for the disruption of construction to our lives. Neither happened.

In closing, I am all for progress, but right now it is extremely dangerous up here on the hill and someone is going to get killed or seriously hurt if nothing is done with the traffic situation.


Sue McHenry