Talladega students want street closures for better campus safety - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Talladega students want street closures for better campus safety

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Talladega College says safety is behind a move to close two streets that run through campus.

Monday night, students voiced their support to the city council. But, there was also some opposition.

Talladega college is growing. "Our goal is to get to about 2,000 students."

With more students, comes more concerns. Talladega College President, Dr. Billy Hawkins, says "When you have such a large number of students on campus and when you get cars and trucks running through campus, It's just not safe."

Two weeks ago, a student on a scooter was hit by a car at Battle Street and MLK Drive. He's okay, but others worry they could get hurt.

Tomas Cone says, "It would be a lot safer to have the school blocked off. Some of the campuses like Miles college, Clark Atlanta, they all have barriers at certain parts of the campus to prevent thru traffic, I think Talladega would benefit from that as well."

Students packed a public hearing to support the college's plan of limited street closures starting with College and Gertrude Streets.

Tyrone Shannon says, "Someone was hit by a car, someone was shot. We shouldn't worry about being safe. We should worry about getting an education."

But not everyone wants the streets closed. "I'm sorry Dr. Hawkins, you're not going to close our streets." Rev. Milton Brown called the idea unconstitutional. "People have a right according to the law to go and come as they please."

Rev. Hardy Reynolds says, "I feel if the children would use the cross walks it would alleviate the problem."

Concerns aren't just about street safety, students want to keep crime out.

Hawkins says, "We've had some incidents with individuals coming on campus, creating fights, starting fights, as well as drug abuse."

Campus leaders are hoping changes will lead to a safer environment.

The council did not make a decision on the street closures. Not all members were there. The council plans on discussing the issue further at the next meeting.

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