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Georgia On My Mind

If you have driven down Georgia recently, you may have noticed something missing.

street racing
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Have you driven down Georgia lately?  Between I-40 and I-27 in particular?  What was once a patch-work of asphalt bandages, seal-coat and other scars left from attempted repair efforts and the drainage upgrade made earlier this year, is now a relatively smooth cruise on still-new blacktop.

However, the crew, contractor – whomever – seems to have forgotten something.  Crosswalks.

I suppose I haven’t noticed until stopped recently at the intersection where my street meets Georgia.  It was early in the morning and some kids were making their way to school.  They entertained themselves taking turns pushing the button to get the ‘cross’ signal.  Once they got the green light to do so, I realized there was no crosswalk.  Not one in the intersection anywhere.  There were before and it appears they planned to put them back, but, here we are months removed from the project and they are still MIA.

Spray painted lines suggest the crews at least intended to come back to paint them on.  Other markings lead me to believe they may need to mark and/or cut the turn lane.

I drove the length of the new portion of Georgia and did not see one crosswalk.  A strange thing not to have given kids from one side of this busy thoroughfare face this challenge at least twice a day 5 days a week.  If, God forbid, something was to happen…well, you know where I am going here, right?

Now, for the paint that is missing, there is some I wish could be cleared away.  You have probably seen it.  Not so inconspicuous orange colored dashes just south of the Amarillo National Bank branch, just outside of the chain link fence of Coronado Elementary School.  These were painted in the immediate aftermath of an October 23 single car accident that plotted the course a car driven by a 17-year-old who lost control, broke through the fence and struck a tree.  The accident took the life of the juvenile passenger.  I have never been a fan of the crosses later left at locations like this, but, I would prefer it over looking at the path of the ill-fated ride I drive over almost every day.

Perhaps these young kids were doing something wrong at the time of the accident.  One paid a tragic price. The other must live with it every day.  I see no value in having these markings and they should have been removed shortly after the investigation was complete.

The kids crossing this busy street every weekday doing nothing more than going to and home from school need to be given the chance to do so safely.  Let’s put the crosswalks back and hope that is the only paint we need to add for a long, long time.

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