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Installation of medians in Jacksonville creating mixed reviews

People gathered Monday at the Jacksonville Public Safety Center to discuss a proposed project to install medians at certain locations in the city. (Merrilee Moore, NewsChannel 12 photo)

People gathered Monday at the Jacksonville Public Safety Center to discuss a proposed project to install medians at certain locations in the city.

Main concerns going in are that construction could increase traffic problems on Western Boulevard and whether medians will fix the problems in the first place.

"Western is the main road you take to get to anywhere," said Haylee Martin, a Jacksonville resident. "It's gonna make traveling a mess, it's gonna make it longer and it's just gonna be hectic with construction."

"Well it depends is it payday?" Estefania Horillo, also a Jacksonville resident said with a laugh. "I'm just kidding, but really. It's hard. You know? It's difficult."

So you can imagine how the idea of tinkering with the already-tedious traffic flow is putting some residents on edge.

"I just think construction would be a mess," Martin said. "I think the overall outcome would make it harder and more hectic when Western's already busy."

"I don't see how it's gonna change anything," said Jacksonville resident Shelly Matthews. "To me it looks like they would be adding something that typically you would be taking out."

The N.C. Department of Transportation said "medians reduce crashes and provide pedestrians crossing a road with a refuge area. But despite the benefits for safety, residents are still concerned about the time it will take if the project moves forward.

"I mean that's why they make crosswalks," Martin said. "There's crosswalks at the stop lights just like you would have to turn at a stop light there's crosswalks there."

"I think it would be terrible for travel, I think people would constantly be having to find detours, and it would be harder to get from point A to point B," Horillo said.

"You're gonna crowd up all the other roads because people are gonna try to be getting away from the construction," Matthews said.

Then there's those who question if the end result would even help.

"I feel like it's already hard enough to turn in to where you're going to so I think adding medians would just make your travel time longer and there's really no need for them," Martin said.

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