Construction Traffic Stirring Questions of Public Safety in Frayser

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(Memphis) Traffic trouble is revving up a debate over safety in a Memphis neighborhood. A median being built on Dellwood right outside of Frayser High and Elementary was designed to protect school kids.

“To stop the traffic from dropping the kids off and making a U-turn around here,” said Eric Leroice who lives right off Dellwood.

Leroice believes the design of the median threatens public safety.

“We ain’t got no access in and out,” said Leroice.

The median continues on Dellwood for several blocks, crossing streets and making it impossible to make certain turns. Leroice says now drivers are whipping U-turns in the school zone. He fears what could happen in the middle of an emergency.

The grandfather says in the past, if an ambulance needed to get to his street, drivers would just make a left turn. Now, it’s blocked off. They have to keep going. Straight down the street to Steele. There they can either make a U-turn or go all the way around. By the time an ambulance driver makes all the detours, it could add minutes to the trip.

“Might not have a few minutes,” said Leroice.

Ruby Tate doesn’t live here but goes to church a block away from where Leroice lives. She’s glad to see the median construction, believing it will really help keep kids safe as they load on and off the school buses.

“Initially they were crossing the street; lots of them were crossing the street. They can go over and be transported by the buses on that side,” said Tate.

Police man the middle of the street and crossing guards take the ends to help kids walk but Tate says the median makes it much safer.

“The mortality rate here is really high in this area. We should look for ways to make our children safer,” said Tate.

LeRoice wants kids to stay safe too. He’s ok with the median. But the former construction worker says there should be openings for drivers to turn.

“I want access like I had for the last 17 years,” said Leroice.