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Hesse Elementary Parents Say Lack Of Traffic Light Endangers Students

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CHATHAM COUNTY, GA -

A growing street has some neighbors concerned for their children's safety.  Residents say they were promised a traffic light to help kids cross the street, but it's not coming. 

The kids go to Hesse Elementary School on the Southside near the end of Truman Parkway.  They say, the signal is needed at the intersection of Whitefield Avenue and Halcyon Drive. 

Helen Stone is the District One Commissioner for Chatham County.  She says residents of the Halcyon Bluff neighborhood are voicing concerns for the safety of elementary students crossing Whitefield Avenue. 

"I would like what the residents were promised to be put here, which would be to have the traffic light which was in the original drawings put into place," said Stone.   

The worries come after the Georgia Department of Transportation scrapped plans to add a traffic light.  The growth in traffic on Whitefield Avenue has prompted county leaders to expand the road from 2 lanes to 4.  Now residents like Lisa Ross are petitioning the county to say it's too dangerous for their kids to cross. 

"I've been living here 22 years.  And about 20 years ago is when they first started showing us the plan for the expansion of all of this area.  And they told us at that time they would put a permanent traffic light at this intersection," Ross said.  

For most kids going to school at the beginning or end of the day, they have a crossing guard to help them get across the street safely.  But what about other kids who perhaps stay late?  The closest intersection where they can safely cross the street is all the way over by Truman Parkway. 

"It's a lot of walking, especially for small children," said Stone. 

GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden emailed us a statement that says in part, "The intersection does not appear to meet the minimum criteria required to install a traffic signal.  The department has committed to Commissioner Stone that we will evaluate the actual traffic once the road is open."  

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