Some odds and ends after a night of light TV…
— Got to give the Florida Department of Transportation credit for jumping right in when called upon.
Not long after the Suncoast Parkway opened, the county started receiving complaints from Crystal Oaks residents about the turn lane problem.
You may remember this. The right turn lane onto the parkway coincides with the right turn lane into Crystal Oaks, so someone coming out of Crystal Oaks onto S.R. 44 wouldn’t know if the car in that lane is turning into the development or going past to get onto the parkway.
The county got the state involved and the result was a new configuration that separates the Crystal Oaks right turn from the parkway right turn.
The signage is a little weird so people will have to get used to it. Other than the “right lane must turn right,” there’s no indication that failure to do that will meet you face to face with something the state calls “flexible delineators.”
And there’s a big sign that says anyone wanting to get on the parkway should go into that lane. It doesn’t say you need to dodge out at the last second and jump back in.
FDOT, in its email to the county, calls it a temporary solution. But we should get used to it. FDOT says it won’t be fixed permanently until after the parkway extension to C.R. 486 is complete, and we’re a few years away from that.
But an attaboy to FDOT for jumping on it.
— There’s a lot of talk lately about traffic lights. The county wants one at Airport Road/U.S. 41. Commissioner Jeff Kinnard appears to have the OK from FDOT for a traffic signal at Gospel Island Road/S.R. 44. And commissioners have received emails from Black Diamond residents asking for a signal at their entrance on C.R. 491.
Hey, I get it. Taking a left, in particular, onto some of these roads is getting trickier and trickier.
But as someone who’s on the road a lot, we should rethink this.
Traffic signals do two things: Slow traffic on major roads and cause wrecks. What, you say, more crashes at signalized intersections? Yup. Rear-end collisions are common at traffic signals, along with crashes that happen when someone turning left trying to beat the light change is slammed by an oncoming car.
And don’t get me started on these green arrow left turns. Yes, please, let’s allow cars to back up on State Road 44 in Inverness so that one car can turn left onto Montgomery Avenue.
I am not a traffic expert but, by golly, there’s got to be an answer that doesn’t involve more red lights. Or, they should be synched properly so it’s not red, red, red down the road.
You can bet I’ll be bringing this back up again.
— I don’t want to dwell on this, but a little follow up to my May 25 blog about Library Guy not following the rules to receive 5 minutes at the lectern instead of 3 minutes like everyone else at county commission meetings. Basically, the 5 minutes is for people representing organizations with a letter on file with the county.
Just Wright Citrus pointed out that Library Guy had followed none of the requirements for the county to award him 5 minutes. His group, MassResistance, isn’t registered in Florida and it had not given him permission to be its spokesman.
Commissioner Holly Davis sent the blog link to Oliver asking about it. Oliver got County Attorney Denise Dymond Lyn and Clerk of Courts Angela Vick in on the conversation. Both the county and clerk’s office agreed he shouldn’t have gotten the 5 minutes but they disagree on whose job it is to enforce the rule.
Meanwhile, Library Guy went ahead and got official permission from the MassResistance head hater, who signed a letter to the county vouching its existence and Library Guy's role.
So all is good for Library Guy and his 5 minutes, right?
Lyn said the county code states to get the 5 minutes, the speaker must represent a “legally formed organization registered with the State of Florida.”
I just checked with the Florida Department of State website, and there is no Florida MassResistance.
But this is silly. We have many important issues to discuss and who gets an extra 2 minutes isn’t one of them.
So, go for it, Library Guy. Got any ideas about red traffic lights?
Have a great Citrus County weekend, friends.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.