Today's Letters: School area needs lower speed limit

Published August 28, 2007

Re: Belcher Road extension expands traffic options story, Aug. 25

I am writing because I am extremely concerned that the speed limit on the new Belcher Road extension between Alderman Road and Klosterman Road has been set at 45 mph. I am most concerned that there is no provision for a lowered speed limit in front of Sutherland Elementary School, at least during school hours. This needs to be corrected immediately!

Why is it that the speed limit on Alderman Road is 30 mph and then 35 mph from U.S. 19 to Alt. U.S. 19 (with no school on the road) and someone has chosen to set a ridiculously high speed limit on Belcher, not only in front of the school, but also going farther north to Klosterman?

I live in the Dove Hollow subdivision, west of the new Belcher extension and north of the school. Has anyone seen how many children walk along the road to and from school? Do you not care about their safety?

The speed limit before the construction was 30 mph - 15 mph during school arrival and dismissal. Who decided that a raised 45 mph speed limit would be feasible? It's downright dangerous. Will it take a tragedy to lower it? I hope not.

My son walked to school the first four days of school, but when the Belcher Road extension opens today, there is no way he will be doing that. I am going to drive him there. This will cause more people to drive their children to the school, clogging the road with cars waiting in line to drop off or pick up their children.

The section of roadway from Colonial Boulevard to the school is not straight, either. It is somewhat curvy because the road cut through several neighborhoods. Drivers in a hurry to work, who go 45 or even exceed the speed limit, could possibly go out of control, causing a horrible tragedy.

Those who have planned this road and its speed limit need to rethink the limit and bring it down to a safe level or at least reinstall the 15 mph signs and lower the limit during school hours.

Please consider doing this before an accident occurs and children are injured or killed. This needs the county's urgent attention and action.

Karen Cupstid, Palm Harbor

Re: Subsidies for recreation are no longer in the cards story, Aug. 26

Nonresidents should pay more

This is a perfect example of county government having had too much money in its budget and trying to find ways to justify spending it.

A few years ago county government was flush with cash and found the need to buy votes by subsidizing Josephine and Esther's gambling habits.

Now, governments are searching for ways to trim their budgets by reducing, of all things, funding of libraries and police and firefighters.

The county never should have gotten into the business of funding recreation for those who live in unincorporated areas to begin with. Those residents do not pay taxes for that recreation facility, in contrast to those who do live in the Oldsmar or Dunedin city limits and do pay additional taxes to fund that facility. Josephine and Esther's taxes are lower because they live in an unincorporated area. Therefore, they should not be entitled to a subsidized rate.

Do you think Top of the World would let me go play nickel poker at their facility and subsidize it? Maybe the county should give her the 4 cents so she could afford to play nickel poker at her own facility. That would be a typical county government solution, instead of requiring her to pay the full nonresident fee to use the facility.

Marty London, Palm Harbor

Re: As hospital grows, will wetlands shrink? story, Aug. 24

Hospital project outranks critters

Why should a hospital be disallowed from adding to its range of services? If a hospital will be able to give better care to its patients by building on a wetlands area, should not the patients take precedence?

The quality of care people receive is more important than the lives of a limited number of animals. Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital should be allowed to make additions to its insufficient building.

In the end, it is a question of which is more important, humans or animals.

Andrew Szarejko, Palm Harbor

Re: Pat downs are just too much letter, Aug. 22

Airport security protects all of us

While I agree with Henry Berolzheimer that airport security sometimes makes traveling barely worth doing, and I respect his age, he is out of line blaming it on Bush and Cheney.

The degrading and infuriating pat downs are because of terrorists trying to kill us, we all know that. Being old and cranky doesn't make him exempt from danger. Mr. Berolzheimer is free to choose another means of travel in this free country that is not run by terrorists.

Mike Edwards, Largo

Re: Pat downs are just too much letter, Aug. 22

Pat downs really aren't a big deal

I have had a pacemaker since 1992 and in all my years of traveling on the airlines, I have always been treated with courtesy and respect during the pat downs.

Does the gentleman who complained think that older people should be exempt from pat downs?

Terrorists come in all sizes, shapes and ages, and I, for one, would rather be safe than sorry.

Stop complaining. It is not that big a deal!

Ruth Tripp, Largo

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