Lakeland residents meet about Clubhouse Rd. dangers

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For years, people who live along Clubhouse Road have been saying it is a very dangerous street. Now they say they have something to prove it.

The Florida Department of Transportation just released a report, more than 90 pages long, that recommends Polk County install streetlights, sidewalks, traffic signs, and cross walks. Residents have been pushing for the changes for years.

"It should not have taken all these complaints and three deaths for something to occur," Tony Kirk said.

Kirk's son Kaylen was killed when he was hit crossing the street to get to his school bus stop.

In the last five years, two other pedestrians have been killed on Clubhouse. And an additional six other people have been hit and survived.

Thursday evening, representatives from Polk County and FDOT met with residents at First Baptist Church of Highland City to talk about the possible improvements. The county says it doesn't have enough money to pay for all the traffic safety projects that citizens request. On average, the county funds one out of three projects.  The others are reconsidered the next year.

In August, a citizens advisory group will review requests then make recommendations to county commissioners. Even if the Clubhouse Road improvements  make the cut, they won't be implemented until 2017.

"We understand that it takes time to get projects done," said Kirk. "But what we're not going to be comfortable with is nothing being done."