Parents: Construction poses safety concern near children's bus stop

Deerfield Trace residents also say Watson Road needs to be widened

By Francesca Amiker - Reporter

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - New construction on a narrow road has been causing some major problems for one St. Johns County neighborhood, and parents said it's even become a safety concern near their children's bus stop.

For the last three weeks, residents said, large construction trucks have weaved in and out of their neighborhood located on Watson and Deerfield Forest roads.

Neighbors said the new construction will create a turning lane on Watson Road, but won't widen it, which is what they believe is needed.

In the meantime, Deerfield Trace residents said that the neighborhood's bus stop needs to be moved.

"We've always complained about the bus stop being here for the entire neighborhood," said Jesse Fazzingo, a father of two who lives in Deerfield Trace. "Before the construction, there was a lot of traffic and kids having to cross the road here. Now with all this construction, there's tons of trucks coming through every day."

It's a problem that Fazzingo said he's faces for the last two years: Watching his now-first grader and many other students get on and off the school bus along the very busy road. 

He said the stops have moved from the intersection of Watson and Deerfield Forest roads to several yards back due to the construction. But with the new 74-home subdivision on the way, Fazzingo said, it's the construction trucks coming in and out that are creating a dangerous situation for children.

"It's not that big of a road," Fazzingo said.

Residents told News4Jax that there are safer areas where children could be picked up, saying there's two roundabouts in the neighborhood and they feel like the bus could drive around one of them to pick up their children, which would be safer for everyone. 

On top of safety, several neighbors who attended the Planning and Zoning Agency's meeting Thursday expressed displeasure when they learned Watson Road wouldn't be expanded to multiple lanes. 

Growth Management said it only plans to widen the road enough to install a left turn lane, and the current condition of the road meets county standards. 

News4Jax made multiple calls to school transportation, but had not heard back as of early Thursday evening. 

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