City Votes on Street Closing

The state of Florida has asked for the closings by the governor's mansion, calling it a safety issue. The state says cars driving by on Adams Street and First Avenue pose a safety risk for people visiting the mansion and the governor.

It's a popular shortcut. Right by a Tallahassee tourist attraction, but the state wants to put up gates on First Avenue and Adams Street, cutting out cars.

"Very simply, anyone could pull up, stop their vehicle, step out before we could respond, and we could have a device detonated," says Don Ladner of FDLE.

And it's not just about security. With 18,000 visitors expected at the mansion this year, for schoolchildren, it's about safety.

"Preschoolers and elementary school students, as they off load from buses and the vehicular traffic on Adams Street makes for a very tense moment," says Carol Graham Beck, curator for the Governor’s mansion.

But city commissioners said not so fast, show us what the public gets in return.

"There are real, live people that use this street. So the issue is, I mean, are we providing real security?" says Debbie Lightsey, Tallahassee City Commissioner.

"If you all put up a fence or erect a tall gate there, then I think you've gone that much further in shutting the public off from what is, what belongs to the public," adds Commissioner Andrew Gillum.

New gates would keep out cars, but should still let folks on foot get a good look, keeping the mansion from being a drive-by destination, and city commissioners unanimously approved the plan if the state makes sure pedestrian access won't be affected.

Commissioners still have to sign off on a final agreement.


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