Locals Plead for Safety Changes to “Killer Krome Avenue”

A woman who lost her son in a head-on crash on Krome Avenue this year made an impassioned plea to the Metropolitan Planning Organization to fix the deadly stretch of road.

Metropolitan Planning Organization members voted unanimously to expedite funding and permitting so the existing Krome Avenue project can advance, but not before the pleas were heard.

"How would it feel to know you could've made a difference and pushed this forward and done something and you didn't?” said Rita Rodriguez. “And you have to look at the person's face and say, 'You know what, I didn't push it hard enough.'"

Two others also lost their lives in the crash that killed Rodriguez's son Anthony, also known as DJ Sonic C, on the road some call Killer Krome.

“We've lost 10 people this year already, and in the first 82 days of this year, there were over 123 accidents," Rodriguez said.

The Florida Department of Transportation has had plans in place for several years for what’s known as the Krome Avenue Project, slated to include a four-lane divided roadway along with a 40-foot median.

"Six fatalities occurred head-on, due to cross-over collisions occurring on that road,” said public safety advocate Mike Arias. “Our goal is to hopefully prevent that from occurring there by hopefully having FDOT eventually install a barrier on the road."

Some business owners on Krome Avenue, however, think adding a barrier like the one in the Florida Keys would be bad for business.

“It does not allow for left turns coming in and out of businesses,” said business owner Bernie Ortega.

Commissioner Rebecca Sosa cited other tragedies along the road when addressing the urgency to make changes.

“I'm talking about the years that we have been talking about this over and over again. So I sincerely want to see answers,” Sosa said.

Officials with FDOT said the soonest Phase 1 of the project will be complete is April 2015.

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