Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Last night at City Hall

Highland Avenue roundabout idea dropped by Largo City Commission

The city Tuesday night dropped a controversial roundabout from an overall plan to make Highland Avenue a more pedestrian-friendly roadway.

It's not the right spot for Largo's first roundabout, most city commissioners said during a work session at City Hall. Many were swayed by general community disdain for the traffic feature.

Roundabouts "can be wonderful things," said Mayor Pat Gerard this week. But this one, proposed at Rosery Road, is problematic.

"I haven't heard one person say they're in favor of it, except our staff," she said.

Residents bashed plans for the roundabout the first time they saw them at a public meeting this spring. A slew of letters to City Hall panning the traffic circle ensued, followed by a petition with more than 700 signatures from members and guests of St. Paul United Methodist Church.

Leaders at St. Paul worried that the roundabout would make a sometimes hectic traffic situation even more complex and perilous at their popular church.

Monthly, more than 5,000 members and guests, many of them youngsters and seniors, attend activities at the church's Christian Life Enrichment Center. And on Sundays, when more than 1,000 people show up for services and Sunday school, the church hires police officers to direct traffic.

All in all, city leaders spent about an hour discussing details of the $6 million proposal to revamp Highland.

With a lean budget in mind, a few commissioners wondered if funds for the project should be spent now or for Highland at all.

"I'm just not sure this project should be done at this time," Vice Mayor Gigi Arntzen said at the work session.

Some of the money targeted for the project is funded by sales tax, gas tax and impact fees — a few areas hit hard by the current economic slump, Commissioner Robert Murray said.

He suggested the city delay discussion of the plan until after budget details have been worked out.

As far as construction impact fees, city staff said there is a set region and time frame where those funds need to be spent. And this project meets those needs.

City leaders ultimately decided to move forward with the project for now. The plan's future depends on whether Largo gets jurisdiction of the road, which is currently controlled by the county.

If everything goes as planned, construction could begin next spring, City Engineer Leland Dicus said.

Fast facts

Highland Avenue project

Price: $6 million

Features

• 6-foot sidewalks

• 10-foot urban trail on Highland

• 8-foot trail on Rosery Road

• Bike trail

• Landscaping

• Medians at major intersections

• Two revamped traffic signals

Highland Avenue roundabout idea dropped by Largo City Commission 06/09/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.