TAMPA — Hillsborough County commissioners are taking one more stab at addressing concerns about speed bumps in parts of Carrollwood that have been controversial for years.
Commissioners voted 6-1 Thursday to make one more effort to resolve disputes among residents over the number and design of speed bumps and accompanying signs in Old Carrollwood. That likely will mean hiring an arbitrator, as was done to resolve similar grievances over speed bumps in Carrollwood Village.
The vote effectively allows work to continue in Carrollwood Village to appease concerns about speed bumps there. That includes repairing damage to existing speed tables, evaluating the number and placement of signs to improve aesthetics and redesigning devices installed in some areas to channel traffic.
Commissioner Ken Hagan lives in Carrollwood and travels some of the roads in question daily. He cast the lone opposing vote, objecting to delaying a proposed resolution in Old Carrollwood.
Years of dealing with the issue has taught him that no solution will please everyone at this point, he said.
"Like it or not, this is a very divisive issue," Hagan said.
Other commissioners agreed, but thought it was worth one more attempt at a resolution that most people could tolerate.
They heard once again Thursday from Carrollwood residents who like or hate the traffic-slowing bumps.
Along with speed bumps, the county work initiated in 2005 brought new crosswalks, bike lanes and traffic control signs to both Original Carrollwood and Carrollwood Village.
In response to previous complaints, the county removed many signs and 22 speed humps as of late last year, although many remain.
On average, the speed of traffic in Carrollwood has dropped more than 5 mph, or about 12.5 percent, according to the county's before-and-after traffic analysis of the area.
The volume of traffic is down more than 22 percent, and crashes dropped 27 percent from 2005 to 2009.
In other action Thursday, commissioners agreed to consider creating regulations to address what law enforcement officials say is a growing problem: accidents staged by people hoping to scam insurance companies.
The regulations, sought by Commissioner Kevin Beckner, likely would target clinics that authorities say are used by scam artists to bill fraudulent insurance claims.
Many of the clinics are not run by doctors, but nevertheless are used to legitimize bogus injuries.
New regulations could, for instance, require that a clinic have an affiliation with a licensed medical doctor who then could be held responsible for fraudulent claims.
Bill Varian can be reached at (813) 226-3387 or firstname.lastname@example.org.