Wednesday, December 13, 2017
News Roundup

Carlton: A real neighborhood takes it to the streets (okay, curbs)

The signs, a bright, guilt-inducing red, sprouted overnight like mushrooms along the grassy curbs of my regular shortcut through an old Tampa neighborhood.

Please, they implore me and the other cut-through drivers behind me: DRIVE LIKE YOUR KIDS LIVE HERE.

Busted.

City streets, even very residential ones like Ridgewood Avenue where kids play, dogs get walked and neighbors are out being neighborly, are open for all of us to drive. Of course. This town's prettiest street in fancier South Tampa, the winding waterfront Bayshore Boulevard, belongs no more to the residents of the mansions along it than to the barefoot guy sitting on the seawall watching the boats go by.

But here is the problem for the 400 souls of Ridgewood Park, a tidy triangle of a working-class neighborhood bordered by the Hillsborough River and conveniently close to downtown (only on its less tony north side):

Too many of us have discovered this is an easy way to avoid the wider, busier through street, N Boulevard, and that tedious light at Columbus Drive. Plus, this neighborhood's bungalows, shady oaks, green spaces and gentle slope to the river are way prettier. So we cut through.

Some of us apparently cut through too fast. A traffic study showed speeders went an average of 9 mph over the posted 25-mph limit.

Which should be enough for the city to put in speed tables — right?

Except there are 70 other spots around Tampa awaiting speed tables at which motorists go even faster. And Tuesday, a city official said Tampa Fire Rescue had concerns about emergency access there, so speed tables are not expected any time soon.

Stacey Warder, president of the Ridgewood Park Crime Prevention and Civic Association, says drivers are welcome, just not speeders. For 10 years they've been trying to get any kind of traffic calming, but so far not "one sign, one stripe, one crosswalk." A left-turn arrow at that long light some drivers use their neighborhood to avoid — how expensive could that be?

Ridgewood Park's Facebook page — "crime prevention, education, beautification, community building, cleaning & greening" — includes news of the good grade the elementary school got and photos of three screech owls released here. A chili cook-off is in the works.

"We have five new babies born in this neighborhood this year," Warder says. "We want to make it safe."

She also says the city has been good to them in other ways, like streetlights to be installed through the Bright Lights, Safe Nights program. It took 11 years, but they got two sidewalks. One day the Riverwalk currently winding through downtown will reach here, too.

So here's some good news for an urban community with a big city growing up around it: The Heights development across the street, the one that stalled in a flailing economy we are coming out of, includes $200,000 in "transportation mitigation" for Ridgewood streets. That will help. The city plans to share the speeding concerns with Tampa police.

So for now, they have those (literally) grass roots signs. Individual residents and the civic association bought 18 of them at $10 a pop, trying to appeal to us cut-through commuters on the most neighborly level as we ride through on our way to somewhere else.

Comments
Flipping homes for big profits is getting harder in Tampa Bay

Flipping homes for big profits is getting harder in Tampa Bay

Michael Sadeghpour was just 18 when he did his first flip.Using money saved from a job and borrowed from his grandmother, he bought a foreclosed condo in north Pinellas County for $67,000. He did some inexpensive renovations and flipped it for $125,0...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Roy Moore wonít concede Alabama Senate race; ex-Tampa police sergeant learns fate; older Americans take too many unneeded pills; Raysí dilemma: Retool or rebuild?

The Daystarter: Roy Moore wonít concede Alabama Senate race; ex-Tampa police sergeant learns fate; older Americans take too many unneeded pills; Raysí dilemma: Retool or rebuild?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecastē It was cold. Then it was warm. And now it will be cold again. Our yo-yo weather continues as another cold front rolls in and drops tempera...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Forecast: Warmer temperatures will follow another sunny, crisp day across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Warmer temperatures will follow another sunny, crisp day across Tampa Bay

Another dose of chilly temperatures is in store for the Tampa Bay region before a warming trend takes temperatures back into the 70s through next week.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area Dry air and winds from the north are ...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Democrats jubilant, and newly confident about 2018, as Alabama delivers win on Trumpís turf

Democrats jubilant, and newly confident about 2018, as Alabama delivers win on Trumpís turf

The Democratsí seismic victory Tuesday in the unlikely political battleground of Alabama brought jubilation ó and a sudden a rush of confidence ó to a party that has been struggling to gain its footing since Donald Trump won the presidency 13 months ...
Updated: 30 minutes ago
6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

A grandparent can be a tough person to buy a Christmas gift for. Likewise, many grandparents are stumped on what to get the kids besides some cash. Why not make your Christmas gift something you both want more of: more time together making memories. ...
Published: 12/13/17
Wee Gallery entrepreneurs turned black-and-white baby mural into thriving business

Wee Gallery entrepreneurs turned black-and-white baby mural into thriving business

When Surya Sajnani and Dave Pinto were expecting their first child in 2002, she painted a mural with black and white zebras on one wall of the nursery. The couple had read that a babyís eyes are stimulated by repeating patterns of black and white. "I...
Published: 12/13/17
Daniel Ruth: Buckhorn stood with good ol’ boys as firefighter proved city harassed her

Daniel Ruth: Buckhorn stood with good ol’ boys as firefighter proved city harassed her

They tried to shut her up. They tried to make her go away. They made her life miserable. Yet Tanja Vidovic — persisted. Long before most people had ever heard of the knuckle-dragging sexually harassing escapades of oafs like Harvey Weinstein, ...
Published: 12/13/17
Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Carlynn Crosby, Times correspondent Florida Pure Sea Salt Harvested from Tampa Bay’s waters, these handcrafted salts come in flavors like maple bacon, Sriracha, lemongrass, habanero or black truffle. They retail for $15 a jar online, at flor...
Published: 12/13/17
Former Tampa police sergeant to be sentenced in tax fraud case

Former Tampa police sergeant to be sentenced in tax fraud case

TAMPA ó LaJoyce Houston admits that she benefitted from the proceeds of tax refund fraud.But the former Tampa police sergeant denies that she was ever an active participant in a fraud scheme, according to a memo filed in her federal criminal case. An...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

For the second straight week, the Buccaneers had the ball in the final minutes of a tie game.For the second straight week, they could not finish.As disappointing as that might be, they have a larger problem, and one that has existed all season: The B...
Updated: 7 hours ago