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County delays traffic project in Carrollwood

TAMPA — Residents have lobbied for traffic calming in Original Carrollwood since 1981, but the installation of the last dozen speed humps planned for the community will wait at least a few months longer.

Hillsborough County commissioners Wednesday voted to put a $2.3 million traffic calming project on hold in Original Carrollwood and Carrollwood Village. After about two hours of charged discussion, commissioners told their staff to meet with civic groups in both communities to seek common ground on ways to curb speeding, reckless driving and cut-through traffic.

Residents should be ready to compromise.

"The business of traffic calming will never, never, ever satisfy everyone," Commissioner Rose Ferlita said.

Traffic calming has been a hot topic in greater Carrollwood for almost three decades, but Original Carrollwood and Carrollwood Village find themselves in different circumstances as the county nears the end of a project affecting both areas. In Original Carrollwood, where residents voted on a plan years ago, the county still has about a dozen speed humps or tables to install. But last month the head of the Carrollwood Civic Association, which covers Original Carrollwood, asked officials to reconsider the project. Residents had complained about the "excessiveness" of measures already installed, association president Mark Snellgrove wrote.

The county's decision to delay the project irritated some residents, particularly those on or near Orange Grove Drive.

"I do not understand this type of micromanaging government action," said Arthur Hackett, 83, whose side yard fronts Orange Grove Drive.

Now Carrollwood Village wants to vote on the plan as well. All the speed humps are in place there, but many residents want them out, saying the humps, signs and road markings, clutter the neighborhood and slow emergency vehicles.

"Carrollwood, we feel, has been defaced," said Jennifer Fritch, an anti-speed hump activist in Carrollwood Village.

Carrollwood Village had no vote on the traffic calming measures. Later, when a decision was to be made for Original Carrollwood, the county had the new voting method and decided to use it. But on Wednesday, commissioners did not say Carrollwood Village would get to vote on the plan. They said they hope concerns could be addressed through discussions by neighborhood associations.

County delays traffic project in Carrollwood 02/18/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 11:05pm]
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