Parents frustrated changes haven’t been made to dangerous Polk County road

Kalen Kirk

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Despite two meetings in two days,there are still no concrete plans to improve the safety on a dangerous Polk County roadway.

On Thursday night state and local leaders took suggestions from the public on ways to improve the Lakeland road. Reports show at least three people have been killed along Clubhouse Road since 2014.

The latest was Kalen Kirk, 17, who was hit and killed in May by a Polk County crossing supervisor as he walked to his bus stop.

Suggestions for the road include more lighting, sidewalks, speed feedback signs and left-turn lanes. But, county officials said cost was an issue.

Many parents left the meeting frustrated, saying change is not happening fast enough. “There’s a lack of lighting, a lack of sidewalks, but the foundation is a lack of accountability,” Kalen’s mom Lisa Kirk said.

On Friday morning County Commissioner George Lindsey recommended to other commissioners the speed limit be reduced – and enforced. Other county commissioners seemed to agree and talked about a possible vote at their next meeting, which is Tuesday.

As for the other fixes mentioned, Commissioner Lindsey agreed cost is an issue.

Through the study, four intersections have been identified as needing improvement. “The price tag of those intersections range from $240,000 to $500,000. All of them are not going to be done in one year,” Lindsey said.

One solution he recommended was having the various communities and Homeowners Associations along the road pay for lighting. The county could fill in the gaps, he said.

“It seems like a very small amount to pay for a neighborhood or an area to contribute to the solution,” Lindsey said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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