LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) – Starting Thursday morning students in the Island Walk subdivision in Lakeland will have a new street light by their bus stops. A Lakeland Electric crew installed the light on Clubhouse Road at Andros Boulevard on Wednesday morning.
17-year-old Kalen Kirk, a George Jenkins High School student, died earlier this month. He was hit by a car as he ran to his bus stop. In total, three people have died on the same street in the last few years. Kirk’s family vowed to get something done so tragedy won’t strike again.
His father, Tony, tells 8 on Your Side the light is a good first step, but is not enough.
“While we appreciate the quick response from the County Commission, one street light is one step, the first step in the right direction,” Kirk wrote in an emailed statement Wednesday morning.
“Adding a pedestrian crossing, reduced speed zone signs and/or a flashing light during the appropriate times of the day, with each additional street light all along Clubhouse Road is what is needed and what we would like to see in this area where there are numerous bus stops from Lakeland Highland to Yarborough, in poorly lit areas.”
8 on Your Side shared the letter with the County. Bill Skelton wrote back saying, “This is the first I’ve seen of this correspondence. I can tell you that the county has already begun a corridor traffic safety study and several of the items noted will be considered as part of that study.”
Lula Scott has lived in the area for more than twenty years. She agrees the light isn’t enough. “I had to travel this road at night in the fall and I had to pray every night to make it home,” Scott said. “It was so dark not safe.”
Kirk says he’s grateful the county acted so fast in getting the light up but he would like other changes made in the next one to three years.
County Commissioners approved the light as part of a bigger traffic study in the area.