Remedy for bumps, pedestrian crossings are essential in Monticello
For several weeks I have worked with Jefferson County to address and repair what appears to be the use of some type of improper elevated traffic calming device which has resulted in jarring teeth, damaged suspensions and email complaints written to Street Scene.
So far, while the message is for people to look into it, Street Scene hasn’t received anything concrete as to what exactly is causing such a consequence for motorists or when a remedy needs to take place. We’ll have to wait a little longer, it’s now a “you’ll know when I know”.
Street scene: View of shrub blocks; rush hour Southwood clogs; red lights become risky | street scene
Investigation:Woman found dead on side of road near state line, LCSO investigating ‘fatal accident’
Pedestrian death:Woman arrested after fatal hit-and-run with pedestrian in downtown Tallahassee
Another Jefferson County puzzle is a letter sent on or about July 19, 2018, by Jefferson County Commissioner, now Chairman, Eugene Hall, to the Florida Department of Transportation requesting the installation of crosswalk signals on State Road 10 (US-90) West Washington Street. , near the Monticello Opera House.
I included in Street Scene this realistic request for pedestrian safety from Commissioner Hall around the same time.
We are now in July 2022. Four years! Four years have passed since the request for a security measure granted to the inhabitants of Monticello. To date, no pedestrian signal has been installed. Only a small, undersized stop sign pictorially representing a pedestrian in a crosswalk that is incorrectly positioned (too low and to the left of drivers) in a grass traffic island.
Meanwhile, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) pedestrian safety signals have been popping up all over Tallahassee and across Florida.
Many citizens are asking the same question at Street Scene. What is the backlog in Jefferson County’s request for pedestrian safety at Monticello? What are they waiting for? Surely not a fatal injury for a pedestrian. How can it take four years to do nothing?
What can I say other than to admit that this has become embarrassing not only for the Department of Transportation, but for me as a former FDOT engineer. Only that I don’t have an answer. So, I pass this ugly scenario. Let’s move on to the political arena where I know the safety of the citizens of Florida is of the utmost importance.
Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson has been a supporter of all transportation safety measures for many years, including IMPAACT, Informing More Pupils About Auto Crash Tragedies, my teen safe driving initiative. Therefore, I respectfully ask my friend to clear the traffic jam and provide safe passage for pedestrians in Monticello.
Painting at Conner Boulevard
Q Linda reports that the FDOT applied reflective boundary paint to the protruding concrete end of the traffic divider on Apalachee Parkway at Conner Boulevard.
A. I’m certainly glad to hear this good news as we reported Linda’s concern about dangerous danger in the Street Scene column on June 27, 2021. It only took a little over a year to add a gallon of paint to poor highway design which by evidence of concrete broken by vehicle undercarriages and flattened (then replaced again and again) post delineators. A known hazard to motorists that is not remedied may result in a civil action.
I once again urge the traffic safety personnel at FDOT to issue a work order to reduce the rounded nose of the traffic divider to accommodate safe turning radius design criteria. Thus, eliminating the vehicle from median crashes. And injury lawsuits.
Thanks again, Tallahassee Traffic Engineers, for extending the green arrow time from south to east. Email reports tell us that small schedule tweaks made all the difference. Drivers no longer run a red light because they know they no longer have to wait for multiple signaling cycles.
Confusion on Meridian Road
Q Darlene reports: It’s easy to get confused when heading north on Meridian Road turning left on John Knox Road heading west. Darlene says drivers, myself included, have trouble recognizing exactly which lane to enter when turning left onto John Knox Road westbound. Confusion is widespread as the sunset looms over the crest of John Knox Road, meeting the driver’s eye at a critical decision-making moment. In addition, the full night makes it difficult to decipher which lane to enter.
A. I happened to have the privilege of seeing a driver back out of the eastbound lane one evening when he realized he was heading up the crest of the hill heading west into the eastbound lane. I pulled over to protect him from being hit by Meridian Road traffic turning left behind me. Eventually, he backed off and continued westbound in the correct westbound lane.
As you can imagine, this little incident prompted me to investigate. For several days I saw people heading towards the white pole delineators separating southbound westbound traffic from northbound westbound vehicles. What I found, I passed on to our traffic engineers in Tallahassee.
We need to run a section of yellow post delineators and yellow raised pavement markers the full length of the painted median to better identify the exact location of the start of the westbound lane. When we provide clearly identifiable lane line markings at night during rain, we have done everything possible for the safety of motorists.
Noisy mufflers downtown
Q. Fran says life is good downtown, except for the loud mufflers, boom boom boom boxes and revving motorcycle engines. Fran asks if Street Scene knows of a noise ordinance for downtown or a way to put up signs asking people to be courteous. I’m sure the people who work along Monroe Street must also have trouble hearing in their offices.
A. During February 16, 2022, commissioners at the Tallahassee City Commission meeting approved the new noise ordinance by a vote of 4 to 1. Draft Ordinance No. 22-O-13 prohibits noise pollution. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but the order gives discretion to the police.
Noise nuisance is defined as “a sound that is unreasonably loud, raspy, or harsh to a reasonable person of normal sensibilities and which is clearly audible to a police officer or code enforcement officer” at a distance of 100 feet or more.
So the answer to your question is; it appears there is a noise ordinance in place. Therefore, your recourse Fran is to have Tallahassee police officers patrol downtown or you and your neighbors could hire off-duty officers.
Danger near Tallahassee school
Q. Tiffany reports morning and afternoon traffic at North Monroe Street and Ruby Road is a dangerous mess with no officers posted. Drivers trying to get in and out of Tallahassee School of Math and Science struggle to stay alive while turning west from North Monroe Street heading north in the morning, then trying again to access Monroe Street in the afternoon.
A. Although the first days of school usually bring us challenges, a traffic officer is essential at this location during school times. Sure, a traffic light is the solution, but until that happens, a traffic cop is needed for everyone’s safety.
Philip Stuart is a former Florida State Trooper, traffic operations project engineer, and forensic expert witness. Write to [email protected]
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