Summerville wants to keep trees, slow down speeding drivers

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News 12 at 6 o'clock/ Wednesday June 4, 2014

Highland Avenue (WRDW-TV)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta is known as the Garden City, but some say it sure won't look like it, at least in their part of town.

Leaders are cutting down several oaks on Highland Avenue in the Summerville area.

Neighbors say these trees are part of their history, but leaders want them to be part of the past before someone gets hurt.

Highland Avenue is known for its oak trees, but neighbors want city leaders to pay attention to speeding cars.

"We have a lot of unhealthy trees that are causing a lot of other problems," Interim Deputy Administrator Steve Cassell said.

"It's not the trees. It's speeding. We need a light or a stop sign," neighbor Maggie Douglas said.

Cassell told a group of neighbors a stop light will cost $250,000 and a stop sign just won't work with the flow of traffic.

Months ago, Maggie Douglas told Commissioners neighbors feel unsafe on Highland Avenue because of the speeding. The area has also seen more than 100 accidents in the last few years.

"Why does the city want to move the crosswalk from a street corner to in front of somebody's driveway? It doesn't make a lot of sense. There could be a good reason for it," said neighbor Frank Williams.

City officials say cutting nine trees will help drivers see better, plus moving the crosswalk and adding a yellow light will make pedestrians more visible to drivers.

"We are going to put the rapid flasher out for the pedestrian . We're taking them away from the intersection and will give the pedestrian a move obvious crossing," Cassell said.

City officials expect to start cutting the tress in the next two weeks.

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