INVESTIGATES: Safety improvements for dangerous road condition near school not finished

Safety improvements not finished

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The city said a project to keep students safe near a busy intersection will be complete by the end of this year.

It can be scary to watch as students try to cross the street in front of First Coast High School.

“They don’t care about kids. They’re just racing up and down the street, and they just don’t care,” said Lori Johnson, a parent. It’s concerning and frustrating for many parents. “Very kind of angry,” she said.

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This is why parents are angry: Nothing has changed yet after cars hit two students last school year.

“I’m disappointed  because of the publicity last year when two children got hit,” said Sharon Carter, a grandmother of a student.

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​​​​​Police said in October, a 15-year-old student was hit and seriously hurt while trying to cross Dunn Avenue to get to his bus stop. Three months later, another student was hit by a car in front of the school

“It’s like this part of town is the last to see anything done,” said Johnson.

In March, Reginald Gaffney, the councilman for the area told Action News Jax reporter Amber Krycka about a $200,000 safety upgrade project. The changes would include crosswalks with flashing lights, the speed limit would be lowered, and a sidewalk would be added. Krycka was told it would be complete for this school year.

When Krycka asked Gaffney what the delay was, he said, “the holdup is not money, it’s process.”

Gaffney said the city has a lot of projects, but he knows this project should be a top priority.

“They understand the urgency, I called them this morning,” he said.

Parents are buying the explanations.

“There’s really no excuse, they had all summer to do this,” said Carter.

The city said the project should be finished by the end of this year. Gaffney said the crosswalk signals should be working in 30-60 days.

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