By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(March 14, 2019) Ocean Pines resident Susan Canfora has had it with speeders on her street. She has lived on Footbridge Trail, near the south gate, since 1990s and for most of those years, drivers have observed the 25 mph speed limit.
The last five years though? Not so much.
“When I moved here, it was a nice, quiet street with very few homes and [a lot of] trees and deer in the front yard. It was a beautiful place to live and it still is a beautiful place to live,” Canfora said. “But, I’d say in the past four or five years the speeding up and down my street has increased to a point now where people are flying by at 35-45 miles and hour.”
Three weeks ago, a car struck her 3-year-old Maine coon and calico mix cat, Waverly.
“I was outside walking my dog and one of my cats follows me,” she said. “She was right on the edge of my driveway … and an old man who lives on Poplar in a green corvette came flying down the street and he hit her.
“She didn’t die, thank God, but she got beat up pretty good,” Canfora continued. “I had to rush her to the emergency room and spend $500 for his mistake and the mistake that the police have made – I’ve been asking for four or five years now to please do something to slow these people down.”
Canfora said the cat was rolled under car and then ran off, only to come back about an hour later with blood on her mouth and face.
“I wasn’t sure if she was spitting up blood or she had internal injuries, so I rushed her over the Pet’s ER in Salisbury and they did all kinds of scans and tests and blood work. She got beat up pretty good. She had bruised lungs and cuts all over her little face and her mouth. She’s still really sore and if you try to pick her up she still cries.”
Immediately after the incident, Canfora said the speeder stopped and argued with her that he “can go 25 miles an hour up and down the street all he wants and there’s nothing [she] can do about it.”
“I said a few choice words to him, as you can probably imagine, and I told him not come down the street again,” she said.
Canfora is asking Ocean Pines to lower the speed limit to 15 miles per hour.
“We started talking to the other neighbors and we found out that all around Nottingham, all around Footbridge, into The Parke, the more people we talk to, every one of them is saying the same thing: that they’re scared to death to go for walks,” she said.
“It’s been an ongoing problem for years … and it’s just getting worse and worse,” Canfora added.
Ocean Pines Police Chief David Massey said police are monitoring the situation, but there is no evidence of a speeding problem.
“We’ve monitored her street [and] put a speed board on her street, and we’ve never found a problem,” he said, adding so far the highest speed logged by police was 26 miles per hour.
“We’ll continue to monitor it,” Massey continued. “But we’ve put special radar enforcement details there and … there’s been no evidence of a problem, empirically.”
Canfora, meanwhile, continues to lobby for a speed reduction. She’s called on delegates Carl Anderton and Wayne Hartman, Sen. Mary Beth Carozza, one representative from the governor’s office, two representatives from the state highway administration and a lawyer.
According to Canfora, Anderton did some research and told her Ocean Pines “has complete autonomy and jurisdiction over these streets, and can change the speed limit at will.”
“They don’t need permission from the county and they don’t need permission from the state,” she said.
She also spoke with Association President Doug Parks, who was “very nice,” but also protective of Ocean Pines police, she said.
“He said he didn’t know what to do and he didn’t know how to change the speed limit – so I found out for him,” Canfora said.
She now plans to launch a petition to have the speed limit changed.
If all else fails, Canfora said she could install a speed bump herself.
“I’ve threatened to put in my own speed bump,” she said. “They told me if I do, I’m get arrested. I said, ‘Arrest me, I’ll have [a television station’s] helicopter flyer overhead while you put handcuffs on me.’ That’s how upset I am.
“I already have the order number from Amazon for the speed bump and I’m not going to back down. If I have to stand out there with a damned flag and a radar gun, I’m going to do it,” she added.
Canfora on Saturday asked the Ocean Pines Board during its regular meeting to lower the speed.
“We have 19 children on that street [and] we have an 85-year-old woman … who walks her dog with a walker,” she said. “I’m asking you to please take this more seriously, please lower the speed limit and put a speed bump in.”
Asked about a petition, Parks said he believed the magic number for signature totals is about 900, adding he would get back to Canfora with the exact number.