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Battle Creek man wants speed bumps on his road after speeding driver killed his dog

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Davenport pointing to where it happened and walked over to where he found his dog laying. (WWMT/Sam Knef)

A Battle Creek man pushing for speed bumps on his street was turned down by the city, but has vowed to not give up.

William Davenport lives on South 24th Street in Battle Creek and said he is tired of drivers treating his road like a racetrack.

"I mean, they fly by here like 50, 60 miles an hour, and it's only 25," he said.

Davenport stood outside his house and watched the cars drive by as he talked about an agonizing memory of losing his beloved dachshund, Thelma.

"I see it every day, and she's buried right there in the back yard," Davenport said.

He said last October, Thelma ran out into the road.

"And then the truck came by and struck her. And she bounced over there on the other side of the street," he said.

Davenport pointing to where it happened and walked over to where he found his dog laying.

"She was laying right here," he said.

Louise, Davenport's other dachshund, and Thelma's partner in crime, lost her sister. Davenport said Thelma was more than a dog.

"Just my kid. She's like my regular kid," he said.

Davenport built Thelma a shrine composed of her favorite toys next to a sign telling drivers to slow down, which he said most people ignore.

He said he needs the city's help to make a change. "I want speed humps on this road," he said.

He contacted the Neighborhood Planning Council, which asked the Battle Creek Department of Public Works to conduct a study.

"The speed study did show us that there was a fair amount of people speeding on the street," Battle Creek City Engineer and Department of Public Works Assistant Director Carl Fedders said.

Fedders said needed 70% approval on a survey sent out on post cards to people in the area of South 24th Street, before it could move forward with speed humps, but the department only got about 30% of the cards back.

"Not everyone is in favor of speed humps. They tend to be noisy. If you hit them going too fast, you could damage your car, and then from our end, they're hard to maintain," Fedders said.

Davenport said he's not going to stop pushing for the speed bumps.

Davenport lives next door to the Sugar and Spice Child Care Center. He said he's worried about what could happen next.

"Another 60 feet, could've been one of them kids," he said. "They could have ran out into the road, not listening to their parents. It would've been game over, you know?"

Fedders said public works might change its approach on future surveys to get more compliance by possibly putting them online. He said the department could survey South 24th Street again in the future.

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