CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga — People who are concerned about the number of people killed walking or driving on a busy highway went before their elected leaders and asked them to make the road safer. They even mentioned voting them out if that didn’t happen.
“There have been so many deaths,” community activist Meia Ballinger told Channel 2′s Tom Jones.
Ballinger is angry that so many people have been killed while walking or driving on busy Tara Boulevard. She’s so bothered by the deaths that she recorded her and her supporters protesting the lack of sidewalks and adequate street lighting on the state road.
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“Street lights and sidewalks,” she shouted in the video. “We need street lights and sidewalks in Clayton County,” another protester chanted.
Ballinger says it makes no sense not to have sidewalks and proper lighting on such a well-traveled state road.
“This is so dangerous. Especially to those who are handicapped,” she said in the video while walking in a grassy area where there was no sidewalk.
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In July last year, Channel 2 Action News covered a memorial vigil for the 25 people who lost their lives on Clayton County roads. Many of them died on Tara Boulevard. Commissioner Felicia Franklin organized the event and said something must be done to make the road safer.
When Ballinger held her march, she blamed the county commissioners for not doing enough to get lights and sidewalks.
Ballinger and Gerald Rose with New Order Human Rights Organization went to the commission meeting and Rose voiced his concern about so many lives lost on the road. Rose called it a human rights issue.
“Their rights is being violated. These people are losing their lives on Tara Boulevard,” he told the board.
As Rose and Ballinger walked away from the podium, Franklin assured them something was being done. “I hope you all come back on November 11th when GDOT is here,” she said.
Rose says it sounds like the commissioners want to help solve the problem. But he said talk is cheap right now.
“You got to want to do something about it. There’s no more excuses no more,” he said.
Chairman Jeff Turner said there has been plenty of discussion about this issue and the commissioners are very concerned about what’s going on.
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