SEMINOLE — Residents who live near Orange Grove Elementary School shared their concerns about traffic in the area at the Jan. 28 Seminole City Council meeting.
Speeding, signage and lighting were the main issues discussed during the public comment portions of the meeting.
“Basically the problem that I have and that I think a lot of us have is excessive speed and failure to stop,” said Harry Jones, who lives on 66th Avenue. “The signs that are posted out there are generally kind of hit and miss.”
Diane Kuhn, who has lived at her home on 66th Avenue home for 19 years, agreed that speeding is a concern.
“Speeding has been an issue but it has gotten worse, and people speed from Seminole Boulevard all the way down. They speed down there even though the speed limit is 25 mph.”
She added, “I don’t see many people going 25.”
Jones said the only time he sees drivers going the speed limit is when the area is being patrolled by police or when radar speed signs are displayed. He suggested a traffic study be conducted in the neighborhood.
Kai Fitzgibbon, an Osceola Middle School student who lives on 66th Avenue, suggested adding lights to the stop signs because “people like to run them a lot and it’s not safe.”
“Also, I’d like to get better lights on the street. (It) has poor lighting and you can’t see at night,” he added. “Something needs to be done.”
James Ryan, who also lives on 66th Avenue, suggested better signage alerting drivers that there is an elementary school nearby. Often, when he tells people Orange Grove is located in the neighborhood “there is a huge question mark and blank stare.”
He believes that if people knew there was a school in the neighborhood, they might drive more safely.
He added that traffic in the area “is a lot worse this year than last year.”
Erin Schofield, another resident who lives on 66th Avenue, said they hope to work with the city “to figure out how to make it a safer neighborhood.”
She added, “We want to work to better the safety of our community as a whole.”
Deputy Tiffany Ashcom, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office’s community policing officer for Seminole, said she agreed with most of the suggestions, including improved sidewalks, better lighting and crosswalks.
Mayor Leslie Waters said city management would follow up with the residents.