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Palm Coast Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 7 months ago

Concerned about speeding on residential streets, safety team considers options

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Also: City considering options for backups at Seminole Woods, State Road 100 intersection.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Flagler County had fewer traffic fatalities last year than in previous years — with 11 deaths, according to the Florida Department of Transportation, 2019 was the lowest year since 2015 — but the county has already seen multiple deadly crashes since the start of 2020.

"We’re very close to capacity at that intersection for most of a typical day. ... We’re experiencing just wildly fluctuating traffic arrivals, and it’s from every approach."

— MICHAEL GRUNEWALD, city of Palm Coast traffic engineer

A Jan. 24 motorcycle crash that killed a 14-year-old Palm Coast boy on Blare Castle Drive added urgency to the Community Traffic Safety Team’s Feb. 11 discussion of strategies for reducing speeding in residential areas.  

The team, which meets monthly, includes representatives of local government bodies and organizations. It makes recommendations, but doesn’t make policy itself.

Blare Castle seems to have an issue with speed, School Board member and CTST Chairman Andy Dance said at the meeting.

City of Palm Coast traffic engineer Michael Grunewald said the city is looking at options to discourage speeding on roads like Blare Castle. 

Its geometry is like that of a lot of city streets — a straightway, a bend and then another straightaway, he said. That can entice people to speed.

“We’re going to do something,” he said.

More deputies would be the easy answer, he said, but law enforcement can’t be there 24/7. Speed humps are expensive to put in, and can be a nuisance to the neighborhood. The city is looking at other possible improvements.

County Commissioner Joe Mullins said he's also heard concerns from residents in the Woodlands area about speeding, and resident Celia Pugliese said she's had concerns about traffic speeds on Cooper Lane and Casper Lane and proposed speed humps. 

City considering options for Seminole Woods backups

Traffic has been periodically backing up on Seminole Woods Boulevard approaching State Road 100, and the city is looking at the possibility of adding an eastbound right turn lane. 

Whether or not it does so will depend on approval from FDOT, said Tyler Gibson, the city's project coordinator for traffic.

The traffic levels at the light vary considerably from light cycle to light cycle, Grunewald said. 

"We’re very close to capacity at that intersection for most of a typical day," he said. "We’re experiencing just wildly fluctuating traffic arrivals, and it’s from every approach."

The city is also looking into resident reports the traffic is backing up onto Palm Coast Parkway from the Dunkin Donuts on that road, he said. 

Light needed for Yacht Harbor Drive?

A resident recently contacted the Flagler County Sheriff's Office asking about the possibility of adding a light at Yacht Harbor Drive where it crosses State Road A1A and heads into Camino Del Mar, FCSO Sgt. Adam Biss said. 

FDOT requires a study to evaluate traffic levels before signalizing an intersection, Stewart said, as doing so costs around $400,000.

Richard Hamilton, who represented Scenic A1A on the team, said that's the busiest intersection on A1A. 

"I use it a lot, and sometimes it is not a problem, but there is a lot of congestion," he said. "So it’s an area that does need looking at."

 

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