Kettleman City resident's plea for children's safety

FRESNO, Calif.

Right now students who live near General Petroleum Avenue have to cross busy Highway 41 in order to get to Kettleman City Elementary School.

From big rigs, to speeding cars, Kettleman City residents say they're fed up with children having to dodge traffic just to get to and from school.

Androsa Morena's daughter attends Kettleman Elementary School and has to make the trip across Highway 41. "What I find wrong in the city is that they don't have crossing lights on the freeway and it's dangerous. The cars don't stop and it makes it very dangerous with no lights for the kids."

Kettleman City residents say crossing Highway 41 on a sunny day is dangerous enough. Factor in the rain and fog and it can turn into a treacherous situation.

Nigel Corona said, "The fog sometimes you can't see, two feet in front of you because it's so thick so imagine you're trying to cross the street."

Residents want an overhead pedestrian bridge installed for students, but Caltrans says it's unlikely they'll build one -- adding it can cost up to $9 million construct.

Caltrans' Tami Conrado says it would take an in-depth traffic study and budget changes to install a pedestrian bridge this year. Conrado says they are, however, looking into repainting the current cross-walk and possibly making other changes to the area.

Conrado said, "To kind of look at all of our options and hopefully install some curb improvements and some other measures to slow down traffic in the area."

Residents we spoke with want more than just minor improvements. If they can't get the pedestrian overpass, they want a stop sign or a traffic light. They'll even settle for flashing lights alerting drivers to students trying to cross the highway.

Caltrans says it is in talks with Kings County about road improvements and hopes to make changes to the intersection sometime this year.

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