The Hillsborough County Public Works Department revealed three possible plans to improve traffic flow at the intersection of Lithia Pinecrest, Lumsden, Bell Shoals and Durant roads at a public information meeting in July. The meeting was held at Bell Shoals Baptist Church.
Officials explained to more than 100 residents the need for, and how they will select, improvements to the intersection. After reviewing each of the plans, the public was asked to share their comments, which will be evaluated before the final plan is approved. All options include adding traffic separators, bike lanes, sidewalks, drainage and traffic signal improvements.
Ryan Weathers said that as owner of three homes in the affected area, he has a vested interest in the project. He worries that traffic will increase significantly on Hummingbird Ln. after drivers are no longer able to make a left-hand turn from Bell Shoals Rd. onto Lithia Pinecrest Rd. He owns two homes on Hummingbird Ln. The driveway of his third house is right on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and left-hand turns will not be possible from that house after a concrete median is installed.“I think there’s some more thinking they’re going to have to do on this,” he said.
Business owner Ken Arena’s office is located at 912 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in the Five Point Center. A concrete median in the middle of the road will prevent his northbound customers from making a left-hand turn into the complex. “We need a safe but structured ingress/egress for patrons arriving from both directions on Lithia Pinecrest Road,” he said.
Project Manager Ben Kniesly said the meeting shows the county has done its due diligence. His favorite option is number three, offering dual signal controlled eastbound right-turn lanes from Lumsden Rd. onto Lithia-Pinecrest Rd. Despite being the most expensive, he says the option has less social impact. Still, he said, some people may have to change their driving patterns.“It may be less convenient some of the time, but safety will be improved all of the time,” he said. The final design is expected to be selected in early 2010, with construction commencing in mid-2011.
To share your comments, e-mail them to Principal Project Manager Frank Scerbo, P.E., at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to Tuesday, July 21. For more information about the project, go to www.hillsboroughcounty.org/publicworks or contact Kniesly at 307-1758.