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Enough is enough: Residents concerned about reckless driving in school zones

Posted at 4:03 PM, Aug 09, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Class is back in session, but residents in the Meridian Kessler neighborhood are voicing concerns over student safety when getting to and from school.

"It's ugly, it's really, really ugly,” said Elizabeth Gray, who has lived at her home on Central Avenue for 14 years.

Gray said she sits on her porch each morning and afternoon. She describes the scene for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up at Center For Inquiry School #70, which is right across the street from her home, as nothing short of chaos.

"They make U-turns all the time, right in the middle of the street," said Gray.

But, she added, there's a lot riskier behavior than U-turns.

"I watch parents drop off their kids, and there is a backup of traffic. Parents cross in the middle of the street, they cross between buses, they cross between stopped traffic, they're speeding through here quite regularly," said Gray.  

With no crossing guard, these dangerous maneuvers can create a recipe for disaster, and Gray says it's happened before. 

"Several years ago, there was actually a terrible accident on the corner, where somebody crossed traffic and killed one child and seriously injured another one," said Gray.

Gray and other residents in the Meridian Kessler neighborhood are worried that once Red Line construction on College Avenue begins this winter, student safety will be even more troubling, as traffic will be diverted onto Central Avenue.

“My concern is there will be more speeding, there will be more impatient drivers, and they’ll be trying to get through this part while parents are trying to drop off their students. So, if that happens and people start crossing traffic, there are cross streets that are very close. So, if someone says, ‘Oh, I’m going to detour around this a bit and take one of the side streets,’ and then come out—well, you can’t always see someone when they’re trying to cross the street,” said Gray.

Gray said she and other residents in the area hope more security measures are taken to ensure the safety of students and parents—especially those who walk to school.

"I would just like something to happen where there's a controlled crossing for parents and students; we have a lot more walkers in this neighborhood. A lot of kids ride their bikes, and I would just like to see something safe," said Gray.  

Gray said she doesn’t want history to repeat itself, especially when it comes to the life of a child.

“I care. I’m a neighbor; it’s my neighborhood. Like I said, I know what happened quite a few years ago. It was horrendous. And I do not want to see another monument of teddy bears,” said Gray.  

Some good news, though. A police officer was monitoring the situation when we were there Wednesday morning. That officer tells RTV6 that she is going to report back to her sergeant that measures need to be taken to increase safety.

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