Parents express concerns about traffic around Kingsbury schools

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- You always want your kids to be safe during school hours, but what about before and after class?

Some parents in the Nutbush area say a busy street is making them worry about student safety.

Every weekday, you can see parents and kids maneuvering through school traffic on North Graham Street.

It's where Kingsburg Elementary, Kingsburg Middle and Kingsbury High School sit next to each other.

“It’s just a lot of people coming through," said parent DeWayne Forrester.

But some of those people, like Kelly Thompson, have concerns.

“That somebody’s going to get hit because they’re crossing in between cars," said Thompson.

She says it makes her nervous seeing students zip around cars and buses going to and from class.

The area gets congested since Kingsbury Middle School and High School are on the same schedule.

“I worry about the kids’ safety," said Thompson.

Other parents and a school employee told us off camera they also worry.

There’s one crosswalk where we saw a guard directing traffic through in the morning, but many take their own path, whether it’s stopping in the middle of the street or trying to beat oncoming cars.

“Even though they’re half grown, still they need to teach them rules and regulations now, or later on, they’re not going to understand," said Thompson.

She thinks those out there controlling traffic are doing their best, but more needs to be done.

“When you got 40 cars out here and everybody’s dropping and running, they can’t control that – not by themselves.”

Especially when she says drivers often speed off down the road.

We dug through traffic reports and found there were 36 crashes on North Graham Street last year between Bayliss Avenue and Macon Road.

From the beginning of this year thru April, there have been 14.

Out of those crashes, eight of them were right in front of the schools during drop-off or pick-up hours.

“It’s busy in the afternoons when you first come through to pick them up, it’s pretty busy. Everybody’s getting through and the buses going," said Forrester.

Forrester said he drops his kids off early and said he never notices any glaring safety issues when he does.

“Normally just kids hanging out, waiting on school to open.”

But some, like Thompson, hope new procedures can be put in place or even police stationed nearby.

“I understand they’ve got to get to school and I have no problem with that. But let’s put safety, let’s put the babies first.”

The Shelby County School District released the following statement:

"We are not aware of any recent problems with the pick-up and drop-off procedures at Kingsbury Middle and High. Our school administrators work closely with our security and risk management departments to ensure the safest and most efficient procedures are followed. We always encourage parents to reach out to their school administrators if there is an issue."

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