Please take time to read all of this...
About eight years ago, the county did a vehicle count on Ardmore Road, just west of Parker Avenue and counted over 900
in 24 hours. This was during the Christmas holidays when school was out.
While tiring of the constant speeding traffic and occasional totaled parked car in broad daylight, we thought some relief
would come from the single speed bumps installed between the two blocks on each east west road and four blocks of Dock Street.
It turned out to do little to slow or deter traffic due to the distances between the humps and the stop signs.
We now regularly hear cars race their engines on each side of the humps to make up for lost time. Just last week I buried
a neighbors pet cat that had no chance because all we heard was the engines racing motor before it happened and it was impossible
to even consider looking for a tag number at this speed as the car traveled straight through the end of street stop sign and
across the bridge. Yes, more than 90% of these cars are commuters making a short cut through OUR neighborhood. And yes, this
could have easily been a child.
While considering applying for more traffic calming and with more and more neighbors expressing concern and fear, we recalled
a recommendation from a past WPB senior engineer to consider asking to have this cut-through closed. He told us the emergency
vehicles could better serve the area west of us via the Caroline Road bridge, the cut-through commuters could also use the
roads designed for this traffic or the same industrial roads that cross just north of us and that our quality of life would
improve, ten fold.
We decided to take a vote at our recent general meeting and the vote was unanimous to pay the $1,300 application fee to
study this proposal. We also noted how this decrease in cut through traffic should help the dangerous intersections at Parker
Avenue, where traffic accidents are all too common and well documented.
There were a small handful of long time neighbors opposed to the idea at the meeting though 4 of the 6 live in the very
small area not impacted by the traffic. They are neighbors we are very fond of and respect though the great majority disagrees
with their logic and concerns about change.
The day after our general meeting where this proposal was introduced, I asked City Staff member & Neighborhood Liaison
to the Mayor, Dean Reilly, to drive with me to measure the time and distances of the cut-through Mercer route and alternative
routes to travel west from our neighborhood.
1. Mercer cut-through - We started from the center of the neighborhood (Ardmore Road & Glenwood easement) and traveled
west to Boyd, crossed the bridge to Whitney, then west to Mercer, north to Australian then turned west on the ramp to Okeechobee
Road, then to just west of I-95.
This is 1.4 miles, took 3.5 minutes, involved 4 stop signs (the last onto very busy Australian Ave,) and a left turn crossing
2 lanes of southbound Australian. (We beat the traffic coming south on Australian so had no wait crossing the 2 lanes. Add
time for turning onto and next crossing, if traffic is busy.)
2. Next we went east to Parker, then north to Okeechobee, then west to the same point just west of I-95.
This is also 1.4 miles, but only 2.5 minutes. It involved 1 stop sign and 1 left turn at a traffic light. (We caught the
light green so add 2.33(timed) minutes if stopped for the entire red light)
3. Last, we went east on Ardmore to Parker, then south on Parker to Belvedere road, then west on Belvedere to the northbound
ramp to I-95, then north on I-95 to the next exit and same point on Okeechobee, just west of I-95.
This is 1.6 miles & took 3 minutes. It involved 1 stop sign and 2 traffic lights.
Later was measured the distance and time required to go to the new Sewell Hardware store by crossing the canal at Boyd
Street and then taking Parker north to Caroline to cross. It is .7 miles, 3 stop signs and 2 minutes crossing at Boyd. It
is .9 miles, 2 stop signs and 2.5 minutes crossing at Caroline.
The coming new location of this very popular hardware store on Mercer Avenue is of great new concern of even more cut-through
traffic due to all eastern neighborhood residents and workers traveling to and from this store, not to mention the contractors,
workers and suppliers that will undoubtedly continue to ignore the no trucks signs that are ignored daily now.
Many of us use this cut-through several times a day but see the far better value of leaving a minute or two earlier, if
need be, and reducing our traffic by at least 90%. My real estate exposure and business will undoubtedly suffer with less
traffic but it would be selfish of me to put that before the also undoubtedly, much better quality of life a 90% or more reduction
in traffic will be for the majority of our neighbors. Hopefully, others will come to realize this as well.
* For citizens concerned about a western emergency evacuation route, we could propose a gate or gates that can be opened
during and ahead of times of possible emergencies.
** This is by far not unprecedented if you consider what was done in Northwood along Broadway years ago.
Ed G. Williams
Please see next page; Past, present and upcoming exents, about how we can fund this. Then copy and paste this page into
word to give to neighbors that we may not have their email addresses.
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