Student safety in question at dangerous intersection

Dupont Middle School students dart through traffic to cross busy street

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Channel 4 received an email Tuesday regarding a dangerous intersection near Dupont Middle School, one that people in the area said needs to change before someone gets hurt.

Nearby business owners at the intersection of St. Augustine and Alvarado Road told Channel 4 on Tuesday that they want to see a change at the intersection because they've seen some close calls between fast moving cars and students who are trying to cross the street.

"It's frightening," said a 6th grader at Dupont Middle School. "My mom tells me to look both ways before I go. I do that to try to stay safe."

Channel 4 found dozens of students trying to make a daring attempt at crossing the intersection Tuesday afternoon.

"I think they need like a crossing guard or somebody who can like guide us through the road and stop the cars from coming, so we can get safely across the road," said another Dupont Middle 6th grader.

The owner of Caroll's Meat Shop, John Rose, said he has a front-row seat to the mid-day dart and dash. Rose said he's seen far too many close calls from in front of his shop.

"Anybody could make a bad judgment and have too close of a call, or their friends run across and they try to catch up and they think they can beat it," said Rose. "Yeah, it does scare you."

Channel 4 asked Duval County Public Schools about the intersection. The spokeswoman for the schools, Tia Ford, said Florida law only requires districts to provide crosswalks or crossing guards for elementary schools.

Channel 4 was told a change would have to be made by the city for more safety measures at the intersection to be put in place.

When Channel 4 inquired with the city we received a statement reading, "The City of Jacksonville is willing to conduct a traffic study in the area of St. Augustine and Alvarado to see if something different is needed."

There is a crosswalk a quarter of a mile up the road at St. Augustine and Toledo, and while that crosswalk is a little more of a hike for students, the city is encouraging students to use that area until the traffic study is complete.

Rose said he'll continue to keep an eye out for students and hopes the city moves fast on the issue before someone gets hurt.

"It's right here, we see it daily and it could turn out to be pretty bad," said Rose.

Duval County Schools said they have not received any complaints from parents or students about the dangerous intersection. However, Rose told Channel 4 that he spoke with administrators at Dupont Middle and was waiting to hear if any changes were going to be made.

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