From the school desk to the municipal council podium
There to push his school project further than the required rubric, a local high school student from Kelly High School told those gathered for the Beaumont town council meeting on November 15 that traffic on Thomas Road near his home was getting more and more more dangerous and has offered research-based solutions that he says will. improve security in its frequently crossed neighborhood.
“It was a school project,” Humza Arfeen, 18, told The Examiner of her political science class assignment that turned into a full-fledged, in-person appeal to city officials. “I knew straight away that would be the problem, and it kind of evolved.
“You had to write a letter to an official, so I thought, ‘Why not take it even further? “”
Humza, son of famed Beaumont pulmonologist Dr Qamar Arfeen, told advisers the speed and erratic driving tormented his neck from the Beaumont woods.
“Speed is one of the main issues causing many crashes,” he said. “Everyone drives in every city, but the massive volume of cars and the length of my narrow street create problems. In 2016, the annual average daily traffic was 1,865 cars, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
“On top of that, with the approximate width of my street being 28 feet and a length of about 6,430 feet, serving as a gateway from Delaware to Calder for people to get to work, people see my street as a cut, and they take advantage of it.”
“My father started walking down Thomas Road for exercise and due to excessive speed he and other residents quickly stopped. This problem does not only apply to walkers, but also to car accidents. There have been numerous car accidents and collisions at the intersection of Gladys Avenue and Thomas Road. People running red lights and speeding are the cause of these accidents.
According to TxDOT’s Crash Record Information System (CRIS), the aforementioned intersection has seen 28 wrecks, resulting in at least nine reported injuries, since November 16, 2018. During the same period, at least 126 wrecks have occurred along from Gladys, between North Major Drive and Interstate 10.
Humza told The Examiner that the problem has been there for years, but “I would say months ago I started writing the letter. I learned a lot of things, including how much traffic So it was a very good learning experience.
“Personal experience and research, when you combine that, you get a really good result of pure blood, good facts and information.”
Humza said possible solutions the city should explore include building sidewalks, which would likely ease any concerns felt by would-be walkers, as well as posting a traffic cop there during particularly busy times. .
Councilors praised the teenager’s courage and sense of civic duty which inspired him to go above and beyond his academic requirements in a bid to make his community safer. Beaumont Councilman Taylor Neild, who represents the Humza Ward, praised him for bringing the issue to the city’s attention, saying the city would share a recent traffic study with the high school student.
“It was all him,” said Dr Qamar Arfeen, explaining the pride it gave him, “I didn’t even know what he had written in there; I just came to listen. I wanted him to do it alone.”