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Ha Long Bay crash

An SUV crashed into the Ha Long Bay Vietnamese restaurant, 353 Williamson St., on Madison's Near East Side at about 3 p.m Friday, causing a partial collapse of the building's brick facade but no serious injuries, police said.


The owners of Ha Long Bay are hoping to reopen the Williamson Street restaurant soon after a car crashed into the building in May. After initially thinking the restaurant would be able to open in mid-June, the restaurant is still waiting to move forward with repairs.

According to manager Stephanie Le, the restaurant is waiting for the city's approval of their contractor's and architect's plans. They are hoping to reopen in mid-July.

“We don't have much of a concrete timeline due to circumstances beyond our control, but definitely look forward to being open again soon,” Le said.

The building on 353 Williamson St was struck by an SUV at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 4. According to Madison police, the crash was caused because the driver was experiencing a medical emergency. The crash caused no serious injuries, but triggered the partial collapse of the building's facade.

According to Lynn Lee, president of the Marquette Neighborhood Association, Ha Long Bay is the fourth building on Williamson St. that has had an accident; including Mother Fool’s Coffee House which has been struck twice.

Lee believes a lot of these accidents are caused by drivers driving too fast, which he said is a "huge issue" facing the neighborhood.

Lee said the problem started when the road was narrowed, which intended to encourage people to drive safer. But he said the neighborhood doesn’t feel it has been successful.

“After East Washington was expanded there was an uptick in traffic. As a result we have more people driving faster than they should,” Lee said. “The speed limit is supposed to be 25.”

The neighborhood has brought their concerns to the city but no proposed solutions have been offered as of it, according to Lee.

Lee said that he’d like to see studies done on how to make streets safer, and “multiple solutions are necessary.”

While the city is reviewing the concerns of the Marquette neighborhood association, City Alder Marsha Rummel said in May, that people shouldn’t be concerned with these incidents on Williamson St.

"Considering how many thousands of cars travel on it every day, there are not a lot of accidents," Rummel said.

However, Rummel did say “allowing cars to park on the street, and adding bump-outs or traffic islands would help slow down traffic.”



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