Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Downtown street project riles Dade City residents

DADE CITY — Don't mess with Dade City's parking.

That was the overwhelming message of a disorganized and confrontational meeting Thursday evening regarding upcoming construction on a main city thoroughfare.

April 21, the Florida Department of Transportation will begin a six-month makeover of Meridian Avenue, the portion of State Road 52 that runs through downtown. Plans call for a new bike lane and multiuse path along sections of the road. But to accommodate these pedestrian-friendly components, the FDOT wants to switch some of the city's street parking from angular to parallel, knocking out 17 spots in a downtown cramped for parking spaces.

"Parking is already a huge issue for our town and this is going to make it worse," said Allison Todd, owner of the downtown cafe, the Coffee Mug.

Todd's thoughts were echoed by about 30 angry residents and merchants who attended Thursday's meeting. They yelled at FDOT officials, saying that the reduced parking would mean fewer customers and visitors to the town's antique shops and restaurants. They painted pictures of bikers crashing into walking tourists.

City officials had to shush the crowd several times.

What's unclear is whether the shouts and tirades will have any effect onFDOT's plans.

Florida leads the country in pedestrian fatalities, according to FDOT. All of the agency's projects now include accommodations for bikers and walkers.

Shopkeepers wanted to know how many of those fatalities occurred in downtown Dade City and whether there were other roads in town that could be fitted for pedestrians and bike riders.

FDOT officials passed out comment sheets at the meeting and said they would consider all suggestions. The city plans to meet with FDOT to appeal the bike lane so the current angular parking can stay.

Construction begins in less than three weeks, but FDOT officials said the parking matter can be addressed later in the project.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (352) 521-6518.

Downtown street project riles Dade City residents 04/03/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 7, 2008 2:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man turns himself in for Sunday hit and run fatality

    Public Safety

    A Tampa man was arrested early Sunday after he struck and killed a pedestrian, left the scene, and then called 911 to turn himself in.

  2. Tom Jones' Two Cents: Bucs, Jaguars both get blame for terrible preseason ratings

    TV and Radio

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst of a weekend in televised sports.

    Worst matchup

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) tries to get past Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Brian Dixon (41) and safety Barry Church (42) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) JVS119
  3. Hernando County Sheriff's Office: Deputies shoot suicidal woman who brandished shotgun

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff's deputies shot a woman they believed to be suicidal after she pointed a shotgun at them Sunday, according to a police report.

  4. Trump administration disbands federal advisory committee on climate change

    National

    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government's climate analysis into long-term planning.

    President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]
  5. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.