• FDOT: Traffic light project near Nease High School in review stage

    By: Lorena Inclan , Action News Jax


    Local mom Kristen Boynton, whose child attends Nease High School, said she sounded the alarm about the Ray Road and U.S. 1 intersection three years ago.

    “I stopped off and asked the officer at Nease about how ‘do I get in touch with the movement of parents that were involved to get a traffic light there with all these new drivers?’,” Boynton said. “And he said I was the first person to ask him that.”

    Now there’s more pressure than ever to get a traffic light installed after two Nease students were nearly killed attempting to make a left turn on to U.S. 1.

    Related links: Teens recovering after crash at 'dangerous' intersection near Nease High School

    School board member Kelly Barrera, who represents the area, said this problem has been on their radar for a long time.

    “There's been a couple of parents and principal Kyle Dresback here at Nease High School (who have) really been on the forefront of this,” Barrera said.

    Action News Jax showed you last week how the project was slated for 2017.

    Related Links: Nease High School grad petitions for traffic light after teens critically injured in crash

    The Florida Department of Transportation said the traffic light project is in the review stage and needs to be vetted by various engineers first but they will try to expedite it. A FDOT spokesperson said the project is scheduled to go up for bidding in September 2017.

    In the meantime, Barrera is urging parents to talk to their young drivers.

    “Whether that be using an alternate way so that you're using a traffic signal, I think that's a good plan,” Barrera said.

    But Boynton said she wants to see a sense of urgency getting the traffic light.

    “It just makes me sick that we have this danger right here and yet we advocate kid safety for all these other reasons,” said Boynton.

    Barrera agrees, she said the school board is putting pressure on the FDOT including sending a letter to the FDOT secretary Jim Boxold and she’s urging parents to the same.

    “I do encourage parents to reach out to the FDOT and express their concerns because parents’ voices do make a difference,” Barrera said.

    According to the GoFundMe account set up for one of the teens involved in the crash, Mackenzie Felmet is showing improvement but still in the hospital. Her sister Sydney Felmet suffered a head injury and has since been released from the hospital.

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