Millions of dollars is being spent to improve the so-called Dixie "Die-way," but city leaders say a critical part of Dixie Highway is being left out of the plan.

Within five years, at least 16 people have died in crashes along the southern stretch of Dixie Highway, and nearly 350 people have been hurt. Residents say serious crashes are all too common along the southern stretch of the highway.

“There's a lot of plastic and glass and everything, and I come home and am like, well, there's been another one,” Gary Brewer said.

From the southbound Gene Snyder Freeway to the Jefferson County line, neighbors said Dixie Highway is poorly lit and narrow lanes leave little room for error.

Without any medians or sidewalks, it's even more dangerous for pedestrians.

“We've had some really close calls,” Brewer said.

“The safety factor is a big issue and has been for many years,” said District 14 Councilwoman, Cindi Fowler (D).

That's why several focus groups met on Thursday. Residents and business owners gave input about what needs to change.

A $50 million project is expected to bring new businesses and safety improvements to the area north of the Gene Snyder Freeway. The southern part was left out.

“The Dixie Do-Over did not include this section,” Fowler said. “It just doesn't make sense to go forward with something that has such momentum right now without that section being included.”

“Unfortunately, we sort of get forgotten about down here,” Brewer said. “We have no median. No turning lane.”

Residents and city leaders hope future improvements will include street lights and pedestrian walkways or bike lanes, anything to make crashes a less common sight.

City leaders hope to secure funding for these improvements within the next five years.

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