Today's Letters: A high price for beach gridlock

Published May 29, 2007

Living near Clearwater Beach for the past six years, I have learned that despite the massive taxes we are forced to pay, we cannot leave our homes and return to them easily on any weekend day or through the entire spring break.

On Sunday I was visiting two people at Morton Plant Rehabilitation Center around noon. I knew better than to leave my home at this time; however, this was the only time that it was convenient for them to have visitors. Upon leaving the rehab center, I was forced into the traffic debacle that is Memorial Causeway.

Twenty-seven minutes to go from the intersection of Oak and Court streets downtown to Island Way. Why couldn't the city have placed a turn lane a half-mile back to enable those of us who live and work here not to have to suffer the entire inconvenience of the visitor traffic? Why isn't there a warning sign approaching and through downtown alerting people to this nightmare?

If the city wanted to rid itself of tourists and locals enjoying a day at their beach, you accomplished it. No one in their right mind would endure this constant beach traffic horror story - one that will never have a positive ending.

We certainly pay enough taxes to cover these improvements, which are being ignored in Island Estates and Sand Key, and on the beach. Maybe it is time for Clearwater Beach, Island Estates and Sand Key to finally break free from the city that ignores us. Perhaps the city of Clearwater Island Key. Let's see these free spenders survive without our tax base!

R. Ihrie, Clearwater


Road work offers lesson in reality  

Re: A detour from the routine story, May 27

Ah, yes, now that we have had an opportunity to experience the ramifications of the anticipated three-week closing of McMullen-Booth Road, both north- and southbound, we can all truly appreciate the efficiency and expediency of Ty Pennington, host of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and his fabulous crew of ordinary people who can rebuild an entire house in seven - yes, count 'em - seven days. Do they work 24 hours a day for seven straight days?

Of course, now that we are aware of the "rocket science" nature of railbed rebuilding/track laying, we can spend the extra time as we sit on auxiliary routes trying to get to work or home contemplating how Ty would approach the project.

If only there were a reality show for the true reality that is facing North Pinellas commuters!

M.J. "Mim" Merta, Dunedin


Penny promise quickly broken

I voted in favor of the Penny for Pinellas local option sales tax. Now, the city of Clearwater - and probably other Pinellas cities, as well - is telling me that because of the anticipated tax cuts that will be required by the state, it will not be able to fund some of the projects scheduled for funding in the advertised "Clearwater Penny Projects." A case in point is the Morningside Recreation Complex.

This is a clear case of false advertising, and I want my vote back. If anyone who reads this feels the same, let's recall the penny vote.

Howard Warshauer, Clearwater


Photo glorifies dangerous riding 

Re: Remembering one of their own photograph, May 25

I question the message the Times sends devoting a quarter-page to a photo of a procession in memory of a motorcycle rider who died popping wheelies at 80 mph. Does that not glorify someone who risked the lives of others in his irresponsible play on public roads?

I personally witnessed similar driving by a group of three after dark, also on Belcher Road, cutting in and out before popping wheelies, and couldn't believe what I saw.

Robyn Dalton, Largo


Your voice counts

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