Locals express traffic concerns about Front Beach Road in front of Sharky's

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It's been a cause for concern for years. Some locals are not too fond of the strip of road in front of Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant in Panama City Beach.

FDOT officials said three years ago Panama City Beach asked to build a new crosswalk along this road. (WJHG/WECP)

"The crosswalks don't make any difference. The cars don't pay much attention to that," said Dan Likar, who lives in Panama City Beach during the winter.

Florida Department of Transportation officials said, in the last five years, there have been at least a dozen accidents along this same road.

Just last November, an Alabama woman was killed in a hit-and-run.

"People are so excited to be on vacation, they're looking for the beach, they're looking for the restaurant, they're looking at other people, and they're not looking at the crosswalk. So, that combined with the traffic, looking for the beach, looking at other tourists, looking at the restaurant; the two just collide," Sharky's bartender Gina Ramirez said.

FDOT officials said that three years ago Panama City Beach asked to build a new crosswalk along this road. Just last year, FDOT received another request to add flashing lights to the crosswalk sign.

However, the additions don't seem to have eased locals' minds.

On Facebook, one user wrote, "I've watched folks get hit/killed... flashing pedestrian walkways don't help. Speeding/poor lighting are factors."

Another user wrote, "Sure, people need to pay attention, but lighting on front beach is the worst."

A majority of people seem to be concerned about the lighting and FDOT officials say they are working on it.

"Right now we are in the early phases of conducting a lighting study. We're trying to get that formulated and going, so it's a process just like everything else," FDOT spokesperson Ian Satter said.

In the future, there will possibly be more large street lights, but for now, drivers and pedestrians alike are asked to be aware of their surroundings.

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