July 3, 2009
High Speed On Churchside Drive Merits Traffic Calming Devices
Churchside Dr. residents in FishHawk Ranch who have been hoping for some attention to be given to the speeding problem that exists on practically every major road in the community can now breathe a little easier following the county’s recent decision and approval of the installation of some traffic calming devices.
According to a recent report, construction of the first of such projects, which will consist of a traffic circle at the intersection of Churchside Dr. and Palmetto Glen Ct., north of Dorman Rd., has begun early last month. It is the result of a nearly two-year process that began with the FishHawk Community Development District (CDD) II Board being informed of Churchside Dr. being routinely used as a cut through from Dorman Rd. to access FishHawk Blvd. The concerns centered on heavy traffic and speeding.
Bids have been received and the contract has been awarded to Kearney Construction Company.
“As you can see, making modifications to existing county roadways is a process,” said FishHawk CDD District Manager Eric Dailey, but added, “However, upon completion, we believe all residents will be pleased with the outcome.”
While this is good news for some, the efforts of calming the excessive speeding on Churchside Dr., south of Dorman Rd., is far from over.
According to Churchside Dr. resident Kerry Travilla-Baun, who started the residential traffic calming petition, a recent traffic study by the County has only confirmed residents’ concerns and continued criticism of speeding problem.
“Just to be safe, we do not use the front door at all,” Travilla-Baun said adding.”
Her sentiments were shared by many residents attending a recently held traffic calming meeting at Randall Middle School.
Also triggering the push for getting the speeding problem resolved has to do with Sharon Piccoli, who found a vehicle on her front porch after the driver—due to speeding—lost control and crashed into her home located at 5940 Churchside Dr. destroying the front yard and porch.
“There is no way these cars average 41 miles per hour on this street,” Piccoli said.
A recently traffic study lasting for a total 24-hour period, clocking 2,716 vehicles taken on Churchside Dr. revealed some sobering results.
While the highest number of cars were clocked traveling between 31-35 miles per hour, 27 were clocked to travel at speeds of 56-70 and marked one vehicle reaching 75 miles confirming residents’ suspicion.
With the county approval of the installation of speed humps behind her, Travilla-Baun is now in the process of collecting the necessary signatures and hopes the project will see a “speedy” conclusion.