By Tamas Mondovics
The already problematic high volume intersection of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Miller Rd. got an extra set of eyes in the form of traffic monitoring cameras, causing some local resident to wonder.
The new addition to the signal just north of Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico prompted local resident Claudia Kinsley to seek the cameras purpose, necessity and possible traffic calming or traffic modification possibilities.
“I’ve just recently noticed the cameras attached to the traffic light cross bars at the intersection of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Miller Rd. and wondered if these were red light cameras,” Kinsley said. She went on to add that as a motorist who routinely uses that intersection, she has noticed the need for some attention and perhaps adjustment to the traffic pattern.
“The green light from Miller Rd. on to Lithia Pinecrest Rd. is unreasonably short, considering the number of cars waiting to turn left, and the red traffic signal is several minutes long,” she said. “It seems like a perfect revenue-generating intersection.”
Hillsborough County spokesperson Steve Valdez said that a total of four traffic monitoring cameras were recently installed at the three way spot, but that they are not red-light cameras.
To put residents at ease, Valdez emphasized that the traffic monitoring cameras such as those at major or high volume intersections like Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Miller Rd. are to help adjust the traffic flow properly.
“We are always trying to make adjustments, which these cameras help to do,” Valdez said, but explained that the traffic signals are operated by computers and change as necessary prompted by the traffic sensors.
“We are using what’s called an Advance Traffic Management system and the cameras serve as extra set of eyes to monitor the traffic flow,” he said.
As for the red-light cameras, to date, ten had been installed at six intersections in unincorporated Hillsborough County since late 2009, including those located at the intersection of Bloomingdale Ave. and Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico, as well as those at the intersection of Brandon Town Center Dr. and Brandon Blvd.
For more information about red-light cameras, please visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us. For more information on your specific violation, contact the Violation Processing Service Center at 1-866-790-4111.