Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Treasure Island exits plan to study three-way intersection

TREASURE ISLAND — Facing strong resident opposition and growing questions over the validity of a study that found the St. James intersection dangerous, the City Commission backed away Tuesday from spending a potential $250,000 for a new traffic light.

Just a week ago, City Manager Reid Silverboard said there were safety concerns about the convergence of 104th, 107th and 108th avenues and urged the commission to approve a new traffic study that would examine specific solutions, including installing a traffic light, building a roundabout or changing traffic patterns downtown.

According to a preliminary study completed last summer, there were more than 40 accidents in the area in three years, enough to warrant a traffic signal.

But independent analysis during the past week by Commissioner Gail Caldwell, as well as a number of residents, found that most of those accidents did not occur in the intersection or even near it.

"Is that corner dangerous? It can be," Caldwell said, "but I think there is a less expensive way to address the problem, as simple as speed signs or no left turns. I am very leery of the need for a $250,000 traffic light."

Other commissioners were skeptical, too.

"It would be money poorly spent," said Phil Collins.

Mayor Bob Minning said he found the discrepancy between the actual number of accidents and the totals in the previous study "a little disturbing."

Commissioner Alan Bildz initially favored paying for the more in-depth study of what he called a "dangerous intersection."

But after listening to Caldwell's analysis and similar testimony from residents, he, too, changed his mind.

Resident after resident protested the proposed new traffic study.

"I implore you, do not move forward with this thing," said former Commissioner Ed Gayton, citing the results of his own investigation that showed only one accident at the intersection itself in the past three years.

Former Mayor Julian Fant suggested it would be much cheaper to improve visibility in the intersection by removing some bushes and trees than spending taxpayer money on a study that might not be acted on.

Mitchell Shenkman said "spending $25,000 right now is a little bit premature," and pointed out that the city's visioning committee is in the midst of reviewing ideas for the city's future.

Resident Clyde Smith called the lengthy debate "a real testament" to the city's political system and the ability of citizens to give their opinions.

On that note, the commission did not bring the proposed traffic study up for a formal vote.

Treasure Island exits plan to study three-way intersection 11/20/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  2. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Bills journal: Breakout game for Bucs tight end O.J. Howard


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It's obscured by the final score and a disappointing loss, but Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard had a breakout game Sunday, exceeding his season totals for catches and touchdowns in one afternoon.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown catch with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Vladislav Namestnikov is Lightning's top-line 'secret'

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov is piling up the goals. Steven Stamkos is an assist machine. They make for an impressive pairing in a league that favors scoring pairs over the more traditional three-player scoring lines.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Vladislav Namestnikov (90) reacts after scoring during the third period of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
  5. Bucs-Bills report card: Grading the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Hard to believe, but this was only the second time in their history that the Bucs played a regular-season game in Buffalo. After Sunday loss, they wouldn't mind going another 40 years without playing here again.

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]