Road Rants: Forest Hills speeding concerns

Road Rants

FOREST HILLS, Fla. (WFLA) – Imagine your kids were playing in the front yard, or you were walking your dog, when an SUV flipped down your street! That’s what happened in Tampa’s Forest Hills neighborhood last week.

8 On Your Side viewer Margaret Taormina snapped a photo of the crash, which she said demonstrates her concerns about speeding in the area.

According to the Tampa Police Department the crash, which occurred on Linebaugh Avenue west of North Boulevard, was caused by a driver who was attempting to pass another vehicle. The driver lost control of her SUV, went off of the road, then flipped several times.

Taormina said she’s reported her concerns about speeders and reckless drivers in her neighborhood several times in the past few years. In 2014, her complaints resulted in the City of Tampa conducting a traffic study in the area, however, at the time, the city didn’t report an above-average number of speeders.

I followed up on that traffic study and learned from the city that the 2020 fiscal year budget allocates funds for an evaluation of the North Boulevard corridor and the design of additional safety measures. The city said that existing crosswalks in the area will be outfitted with flashing beacons, similar to others being installed at crosswalks throughout Tampa. Also, additional crosswalks will be added. Because a design plan hasn’t been developed, the city hasn’t yet determined where the new crosswalks will be located. However, once the project begins it’s expected the design process will take approximately six months with construction commencing immediately after.

Moreover, a separate project, developed over the past few years, is scheduled to begin construction in early 2020. That project will modify the intersection of Armenia Avenue at Busch Boulevard. You can read more about this project here.

While neither project specifically addresses Linebaugh Avenue, they both border Forest Hills on either side and aim to increase safety and reduce the type of high-speed crashes that Taormina saw last week.

What’s your Road Rant? Email me at mcensullo@wfla.com.

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