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. Photo gallery: First images of the total solar eclipse


    Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the midday sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

    The moon covers the sun during a total eclipse Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, near Redmond, Ore.  [Ted S. Warren | Associated Press]
  2. FBI warns of spreading W-2 email theft scheme

    Personal Finance

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms — scams that can put staffers' Social Security numbers and other critical information in the hands of thieves.

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms.
[McClatchy DC/TNS file photo]
  3. Barcelona fugitive shot dead outside city wearing bomb belt


    SUBIRATS, Spain — A man thought to be the driver in the Barcelona van attack was shot dead by Spanish police Monday after authorities announced he also was suspected of killing the owner of a hijacked getaway car. The fugitive was wearing a bomb belt, authorities said.

    Police bomb squad officers work by a road near Subirats, Spain, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. A police operation was underway Monday in an area west of Barcelona, and a Spanish newspaper reports that the fugitive in the city's van attack has been captured. Regional police said officers shot a man wearing a possible explosives belt in Subirats, a small town 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Barcelona. [Associated Press]
  4. Man accused in slaying of two Kissimmee officers was well-regarded during time at MacDill


    A man accused of shooting to death two Kissimmee police officers was well-known at MacDill Air Force Base as a Marine who served key roles at two major commands.

    Everett Glenn Miller, a suspect in the fatal shooting of two Kissimmee police officers, was well-regarded by colleagues with whom he worked at MacDill Air Force Base. But his Facebook posts, friends say, show he was becoming increasingly angry. [Kissimmee Police Department]
  5. Recipe for Chicken Wings with Coconut Sweet Potato Puree


    This dish is an homage to one of my favorite Epcot International Food and Wine Festival dishes: Grilled Beef Skewer With Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree from the Patagonia kiosk. A boniato is a sweet potato with whiter flesh and a typically sweeter flavor. I use standard sweet potatoes in this recipe, plus a little …

    Chicken Wings with Sweet Potato Puree. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.