By Andy McDonald
For The Citizen
Mayor Bruce Fraley told Berea City Council members the city is seeking state help to improve traffic and pedestrian safety on Big Hill Road after a Madison Southern High School student was hit and killed by a vehicle on the busy Kentucky state highway.
In response to the second pedestrian fatality on Big Hill Road in approximately two years, Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley announced plans to request help from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Fraley made his remarks during the mayoral comments portion of Monday’s special called Berea City Council meeting, noting that more has to be done to make Highway 21 safer near the intersections of Christmas Ridge Road, Hillcrest, Neely Street, and Bratcher Lane.
“Efforts have been made with the two flashing lights, but I’m at the point now where I think more has to be done. It’s a terrible situation,” Fraley said in reference to the death of Madison Southern High School student Brady Corbin, 16, who was struck by a
See FATALITY, A10
vehicle on September 13 while walking with his family on Big Hill Road.
Fraley noted that citizens and council members contacted him after last Tuesday’s fatal accident on the state highway, prompting Fraley to begin gathering information to present to state officials.
“With the hill there and there being a blind spot, I don’t know what could be done, but with engineering, I think things are possible. So, we’ll go to the Kentucky
Council member John Payne also expressed his appreciation to the mayor for trying to improve safety on Big Hill Road.
“Mayor, I would like to thank you for starting the ball rolling on the issue with Highway 21. I know that young persons’ death has been on all of our minds. And coming up with a long-term solution is something we need to be thinking about,” Payne said.
Last week’s fatality followed a 2020 accident in which pedestrian Andrew Flute, 22, died after being struck by a vehicle on Kentucky 21 near Bratcher Lane and Neeley Street. Transportation Cabinet with the data that we have, and ask their engineers to take a look at that particular area to see if anything can be done to improve that situation and make it safer for all,” Fraley said.
In the meantime, Fraley said he has directed the Berea Police Department to monitor speeding in the area, and he encouraged council members to pass the word to citizens regarding the need to observe posted speed limits.
“We need to encourage everybody to slow down in that area. Thirty-five [miles per hour] is the speed limit there, and I don’t think very many people go 35,” Fraley said. “I would just ask you all to share with the people you know to slow down and save lives,” Fraley said.
Mayor Fraley added, “I think it’s something that needs to be acknowledged publicly, that we need to do something about this. We’re limited on what we can do locally, but we can do our part and we need our partners at the state to do what they can to improve the situation,” Fraley stated.
Council member Steve Caudill lamented how the tragedy would affect Brady Corbin’s family and his classmates at Madison Southern. But he expressed hope for change on Highway 21 because of the city’s recent successes in securing help from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, including securing funding for Phase II of the Berea Bypass and adding a bridge and shared use path to Scaffold Cane Road. Caudill also cited the recent repair of Chestnut Street as an example of how the city’s persistence has paid off when it comes to securing help from state officials.
“I want to commend the city administration and the mayor specifically,” Caudill said. “I really appreciate the work we’ve done over the last four to six years in working with the state to solve our problems. I really appreciate the administration looking at things like Big Hill Road, and seeing the need to finish the bypass because what it does to places like Big Hill Road.”