Roadside memorial making dangerous intersection worse

James Carroll doesn't want to speak ill of the dead, but because of this memorial he feels like he's risking his life every time he passes through this intersection.

"There's been several accidents here. I almost got hit," Carroll says. "As a matter of fact, I did get hit one time on the right side because I was too busy wondering what was coming down this way. I got hit by a car coming the other direction."

He says the three crosses aren't the problem. It's the two crepe myrtles and three shrubs.

It's at the intersection of 71st and Harrisburg. When you head north on 71st it’s hard to  see traffic heading eastbound on Harrisburg.

He's called the city in the past and someone has come out and trimmed it, but he wants a more permanent solution.

He's also called the Greater East End Management District.

Erick Retzana came out and looked at it and agreed it's a problem. Because of the sensitive nature of the situation they won't do anything themselves. They don’t want to offend the family.  But he reported it to the city using an app.

"Once you use the 3-1-1 app to report the issue. The more clicks or views it gets, repetitive complaints on the same issue the more attention it gets,” Retzana says.

The city is indeed looking into it.

TxDot regulates roadside memorials on state highways.

However, Houston doesn't on city streets.

So why this this memorial here in the first place? Let’s go back to September 14, 2002. Three members of the Ortiz family died in a horrific wreck here.

Back then, the Ortiz family wondered why there was no traffic light at an intersection where there are many wrecks.  Back then, City Council member Carol Alvarado vowed action.

”We need to do something maybe putting up a traffic light or improving the signage,“ Alvarado said.

Almost 15 years later, there is no light. There are still frequent wrecks. Ironically, the memorial to the worst one may have made the intersection even more dangerous than ever.