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New crosswalk upgrades safety measures near South Gwinnett High

The walk to and from South Gwinnett High School is designed to be safer this week as the new school year began. The city of Snellville has installed new crosswalks at the intersection of Main Street East and Wisteria Drive. (Special Photo)

The walk to and from South Gwinnett High School is designed to be safer this week as the new school year began. The city of Snellville has installed new crosswalks at the intersection of Main Street East and Wisteria Drive. (Special Photo)

SNELLVILLE — In a best-case scenario for officials in Snellville, even near-misses will be eliminated.

New crosswalks near South Gwinnett High, installed in time for the new school year, are designed to add safety precautions to the busy intersection of Wisteria Drive and Main Street East. The crosswalks along with a pedestrian island and push-button walking signals were installed through a joint project with the Georgia Department of Transportation and Gwinnett Department of Transportation.

The project had been discussed for about two years as officials waited to receive “final easement” to proceed.

The area has been the site for several close calls in recent years, including in May when a student darted in and out of traffic, but was clipped by a Snellville police car and suffered minor injuries.

Across U.S. Highway 78/Main Street East from the high school is a Burger King and several shopping destinations often patronized by South students.

Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead has asked South Gwinnett High School officials to spread the word to students to use the crosswalks properly and to let them know police will be watching.

“Periodically, we will be monitoring the area and will have a zero tolerance for violations,” Whitehead said in a press release. “It is human nature to take the straightest path, but running through traffic could well result in a tragedy that we want to avoid at all costs. Having been the one to make death and serious injury notifications to family members, I never want to undertake that unpleasant task here by getting voluntary compliance, allowing everyone to safely cross. Together, we can prevent anyone else being hurt.”