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Worried mom lobbies for four-way stopat intersection

Visibility at a school crosswalk is a concern.

By Robbyn Mitchell, Times Staff Writer
Published February 15, 2008


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TAMPA PALMS 

Crossing Tampa Palms Boulevard on Palm Springs Boulevard can be a gamble - even when it's not rush hour.

The palm trees in the median and the road's winding design allow little to no visibility for drivers trying to cross without getting creamed.

After seeing eight years' worth of fender-benders and wrecks, one Ashington Reserve resident decided she had enough. She had a solution to the problem: make the intersection a four-way stop.

Now all she had to do was figure out how to make that happen.

"At first I was just talking to the police officers, and they told me that they don't make those decisions," Roseann Muscat, 40, said.

Unsure of how to proceed, she contacted City Council member Joe Caetano of District 7, who pointed her request in the right direction.

"Something needs to be done," Caetano said. "There is a new traffic light at Commerce Park Boulevard and Tampa Palms Boulevard that will hopefully slow some of the traffic. But I would support a stop sign in that area."

But even with City Council support, getting signs still has a process to be followed.

"In order to make a decision about (traffic) signals, engineers look at studies of traffic in the intersections," said Ron Phillips, safety and special project engineer for the city.

In Phillips' study of Tampa Palms and Palm Springs, he found that there have been 22 crashes in the past three years.

Muscat said that she has seen many of the crashes, and her concern only grew when her child entered Lawton Chiles Elementary school.

"The crossing guards talk about it all the time," she said. "The kids have to cross to walk to school each morning, and that is what concerns me."

But Muscat said she has seen progress on her request since she contacted Caetano.

"They came out and rolled out those strips that measure car volume about a week ago," she said. "So I am very hopeful that things are moving in the right direction."

Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at (813) 269-5313 or rmitchell@sptimes.com.

[Last modified February 14, 2008, 21:55:22]


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