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"It's a nightmare" - Traffic by two NE Tallahassee schools has neighbors concerned

A solution is in the works, but it'll be years before it's done.
Posted at 6:26 PM, Oct 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-19 18:26:48-04
  • People living off of Centerville Road and parents in Northeast Tallahassee have expressed concerns about the safety of heavy traffic by Roberts Elementary and Montford Middle.
  • Some neighbors say a Blueprint project expanding Welaunee Boulevard may help the problem.
  • Watch the video to see why others say the projected solution will make things worse.


An unassuming, two lane road turns into a traffic jam and headache for parents during the morning and afternoon commute.

I'm Kendall Brandt, your neighborhood reporter in NE Tallahassee.

If you drive down Centerville Road often like I do, chances are that you have gotten stuck in standstill traffic around school pick up time.

One solution is on the horizon to keep things moving in this part of town.

Kait Jones enjoys living in Killearn Estates.

“We moved to this house in 2021, about 2 years ago,” Jones said.

“Has the traffic on Centerville road always existed while you’ve lived here?" I asked. “Yes,” Jones said.

The traffic I am asking about: lines of cars that build up during school pick up and drop off time at Roberts Elementary and Montford Middle.

“If I want to go north, I have to wait 30 minutes just to even get past the light at the school,” Jones said.

She said that traffic is...

"Abundant, because there's a lot of cars and annoying."

"It is an absolute nightmare at three o'clock and anyone who sees it knows it."

That's Commissioner Brian Welch.

I spoke with him Thursday to get an update on a project that would add another access point to the two schools.

"Welaunee Boulevard is designed in a way that will help relieve some of that traffic congestion by allowing folks to enter on Centerville Road and exit around the back of the school."

He's talking about Blueprint's Northeast Gateway project.

It would extend Welaunee Blvd six miles to connect to Centerville, Bradfordville and Roberts Roads.

In a neighborhood Facebook page, I asked people to share their thoughts.

Some neighbors told me they think the traffic will worsen with another access point to Centerville Road.

One neighbor said quote "......My concern with the proposed roundabout and Welaunee access road is that traffic will expand out and congest the Centerville/Roberts intersection."

Jones hopes that the new extension could provide some relief and safety to the area.

“There is a crosswalk where the kids that go to school cross and I have personally seen cars just zoom by," Jones said. "I think if they were to go out and go around the other way, it would help the kids crossing the street because there’s less traffic.”

The new gateway will not be ready too soon.

It's slated to be open in 2027, a little over three years from now.