Safety project set to fix some dangerous streets

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Some of the most dangerous streets in Yakima and Union Gap are set to get safer. Michele Foster said she sees a car accident at least once a month. She owns Behind the Chute on Main Street in Union Gap.

"We've had several customers almost get rear-ended pulling into the business," said Michele.

The area outside her Western wear store is considered a dangerous stretch of town and one of the busiest. Michele said she's personally called 911 about several accidents.

"If I'm helping a customer, we hear the screeching and then the crash of the accident out front," said Michele. "You hear people slamming on their brakes because they've been pulled out in front of."

Main Street is set for safety improvements. Work will also be done on the busy stretches along First Street and Nob Hill Boulevard from 18th Street to 72nd Avenue.

Part of this safety project will be to increase the size of the traffic signals and speed limit signs as well as add curb medians. Overtime will also be given to officers to patrol these areas more closely.

Those patrols will focus on speeders, tailgaters and red light runners.

Issai Perez saw speeders get pulled over a couple times a week. His biggest concern was for the safety of kids.

"It would be nice to have a little more precaution because of students that might be walking by or walking to school," said Issai.

Improvements should start this summer and finish by the end of the year. This will make busy roads safer across Yakima and Union Gap.

Grant money will pay for the project that's expected to cost $750,000.