ATLANTA – Students now have help to get them across busy Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in N.W. Atlanta, but parents say they want a traffic light.
11Alive's Commuter Dude watched as about two dozen students attempted to cross the four lane street without a crosswalk or light. Some were stuck in the middle of the street until it was clear.
That was before the arrival of Rhoda Spence, the crossing guard who is now making life safer for students.
"I've watched and seen kids almost get tore up," said parent Quana Davis. "By here being out here, I'm about to cry. I'm ecstatic."
The main entrance to B.E.S.T. Academy is on Elizabeth Place. That's where cars and school buses enter. Some students, however, rely on MARTA. There's a bus stop across the street from the school, and that's where two dozen or so students face the Hollowell gauntlet.
Before B.E.S.T. Academy opened, there was a different building and a different city of Atlanta school. It closed around 2007, and the traffic light that helped students cross Hollowell went away.
When B.E.S.T. Academy opened, the main entrance was moved off of Hollowell and, according to the state DOT, the spot no longer met the standards for a light.
Commuter Dude contacted Atlanta Public School Board member Steven Lee, who helped arrange for a crossing guard Rhoda Spence to help students across Hollowell. The guard will be in place through at least the end of the school year, and possibly beyond.
The city of Atlanta is conducting a traffic study, the first step toward getting a light back near the school.
"Parents are concerned, school officials concerned, we just need a light there," said parent Melvalita Landrum.
Lee says he is already talking to members of the state legislature about the traffic light and other options to make the area safer.