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Signs at busy intersection should put a stop to traffic worries

Four-way stop signs will be installed at Montague and Linebaugh after traffic studies show the intersection is unsafe.

By JANE BOKUN

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 27, 2001


WESTCHASE -- W. Ruben Collazo worries as he drives his daughter to preschool along Linebaugh Avenue.

"It's just not safe," said Collazo, a resident of the Shires in Westchase. There's too much traffic, he said.

He and other parents who shuttle their children east to Davidsen Middle School and Kids 'R Kids Pre-School on Montague Street took their case to Hillsborough County, and the county agreed.

"We've had a lot of concerns," said Steve Valdez, a spokesman for Hillsborough County. "Davidsen Middle School opened up, and it really caused an exorbitant amount of traffic at that intersection."

Traffic studies were done and within two weeks four-way stop signs will be installed at Montague and Linebaugh. To warn drivers of the change, yellow stop-ahead signs with flashing lights and red flags will be installed about 90 feet from the intersection in both directions on Linebaugh Avenue.

The stop signs, which cost Hillsborough County $200 each, will help eastbound drivers make the left from busy Linebaugh onto Montague to get to the school and child care center.

"There was so much volume during peak school times coming out of there," Valdez said. "Although there were no serious accidents, there was no room for any cars to get in, so they were hanging out in the median area. It was an accident waiting to happen."

Now, he said, the extra stop may ease the congestion, and an electronic pedestrian crossing signal should also help.

The stop signs are temporary, Valdez said.

"Terrabrook, the developer of the property will still have a responsibility to install a traffic signal in late fall of this year," he said. "This is just an interim measure, a very inexpensive traffic control measure."

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