CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Major safety improvements are coming to a highway where a county commissioner says too many are dying.
Channel 2 Action News have covered a number of deaths on Tara Boulevard in Clayton County.
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Right now police are searching for the person who hit a 7-year-old child in September on the busy highway.
The Department of Transportation says it has heard the concerns from the community and is working on making improvements.
Channel 2′s Tom Jones went out to a stretch of Tara Boulevard where he has covered several deaths, where people try and cross the highway and are hit by cars. While he was out he saw many people, even a mother and her two small kids, crossing the highway.
Mark Brown also walked across the road. But he says he wouldn’t do it at night. “Cause you’ll get hit,” he said, explaining that it’s dangerous to cross at night.
The highway is so dangerous, groups have protested asking for added lighting, sidewalks and more crosswalks.
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It’s why representatives from the DOT attended a Clayton County Board of Commissioners meeting in early November. They outlined several projects underway or planned to make the highway safer, including five pedestrian hybrid beacon crosswalks.
“These crossings are actually spread throughout the corridor all the way from 75 north where the Upper Riverdale Road is all the way down to Veterans Parkway,” the representative explained.
There will also be improved lighting along the corridor. “We’ve definitely heard the concerns with pedestrian visibility. So, this project is going to increase the visibility for pedestrians,” a representative said.
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The DOT outlined other road improvements along Tara Boulevard and throughout the county. Commissioner Felicia Franklin has been a vocal advocate for increased safety on the roads in the county. She asked the DOT for additional help. “What can we do to get an overpass at the top of 1941 which is also one of our most deadliest areas?” she asked during the meeting.
The DOT representative said that takes a lot of coordination between agencies and there has to be high pedestrian traffic to make sure the overpass would be used.
Gerald Rose with New Order National Human Rights organization pushed for the improvements. He likes what he sees. “Anything that will help Tara Boulevard we will take it,” he said.
Some of the projects are expected to be completed by the end of the year, some next year. Franklin says the DOT needs to make sure it sticks to its completion dates because these projects are needed now to keep people safe.
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