Community wants change after another fatal accident

Sunday, June 22, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A neighborhood on edge after yet another fatal accident along a busy South Augusta Road.

Forty-seven-year-old John Keffer died after turning his bicycle into traffic at the intersection of Peach Orchard and Brown Road. People in the area are used to Peach Orchard being busy, but they say recently Brown Road has gotten a lot worse. Some think street lights could shed much needed light on this problem area.

Brown Road is known as kind of a country road by most folks over there, so street lights and sidewalks were never really needed. But now that road is constantly covered with speeding cars, and neighbors are concerned about their safety.

Shirley Shipman's view has changed a lot since she moved to her house on Brown Road twelve years ago. "This used to be a quiet road. It was a nice road when we first moved out here," she said.

Neighbors say this used to be a country road, but more developments in the area, brought a lot more traffic. "Since we've gotten the school down the road, Pine Hill, traffic has really picked up," Shirley said.

School's out right now but neighbors say there's a lot more traffic now, than when school is in. The road feels more like a freeway and not a little subdivision area, Shirley said.

That much traffic makes people who live along Brown Road like Shirley, nervous to get too close. "I don't feel safe getting my mail or putting brush at the road or putting my garbage cans to the road, they just fly," she said.

It's even worse for Shirley, she has to cross that busy road to get to her mailbox. There's not much to keep people safe along the road. No crosswalks, sidewalks, or street lights. And after this morning's accident, Shirley is ready for some change.

"More street lights, that would help too, and if people would just slow down," Shirley said.

Other neighbors along Brown Road are also concerned about getting their mail, many of the mailboxes along the road are across the street from their houses. Some people even have to cross three lanes of traffic to get to them, and there are no crosswalks or sidewalks in sight.

Some folks like Shirley spoke to the Post Office to get their mailboxes moved to the other side of the road, but the Post Office said the route is already set. Others spoke to deputies about the matter, they say that every time they cross that busy street, they're jay walking and they could get a ticket.

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