TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — County and city leaders are working to improve safety on the busy road near Desoto Trails Elementary School.
Desoto Trails Parent Joel McAllister says it's been a concern since his 7th grader was in kindergarten.
"Originally we called the city and we were told to walk to the red light and cross there and walk all the way around," McAllister explains, recalling when he first brought up safety concerns for crossing Velda Dairy Rd. to get his child to school.
Photo Credit: Joel McAllister
"It's been dangerous because traffic does back up," McAllister adds, "so then people will go on the wrong side of the road to try and get around traffic and then they'll meet another car coming head on."
He shared pictures with ABC27, taken just last week, when a car overturned on Velda Dairy Road in the same area he uses to walk with his 5th grade son.
"If my son and I had just been a little bit earlier, there was glass thrown all over the sidewalk from the car flipping over that could have hit us or another kid walking," McAllister said. He's been asking for a crosswalk for nearly seven years, and for at least the last of those so has Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch.
"Generally speaking, that intersection at Velda Dairy and Treadington Park has become pretty treacherous," Welch confirmed. "This one in particular because Velda Dairy does not have a cross walk, and it serves as kind of a cut through between Thomasville Rd. and Bradfordville Rd. You get a lot more traffic there than you normally would get, and that's causing people to speed and become impatient and all of those things are very dangerous for our children that are trying to get to school."
Welch made safety in the area a priority, and confirms partners with the City of Tallahassee have taken action this week to create that long awaited crosswalk and other measures. He also says, "We reached out to the Leon County Sheriff's office and asked them if they could patrol that area a little bit more or put out some speed limiter signs that blink with your speed on them to indicate that you're speeding."
Those signs are now already in place, with more progress expected in just a few days.
"The crosswalk I think is being painted this week," said Welch, "and the blinking lights should be installed by early September."
McCallister and Welch both say they're already seeing less speeding in the area.
Welch noted the City of Tallahasse may have recently encountered some supply chain issues that delayed the crosswalk's implementation.
We did reach out directly to the city for comment on the issue but have not yet heard back.