SEMINOLE — After two years of wrangling with area residents, it appears the county has finally figured out a way to alleviate some congestion on 102nd Avenue N with minimal disturbance to the neighborhood.
County commissioners agreed during a workshop Tuesday to adopt a plan that would widen the four-lane section of 102nd west through the Ridge Road intersection. There would be improvements to intersections at Seminole Boulevard, 113th Street, Ridge Road, 119th Street and Antilles Drive.
Signals would be added at the intersections of Ridge, 125th and Antilles. Sidewalks and bicycle lanes would be added, an upgraded signal would be installed at the Pinellas Trail crossing and a flashing crossing light would be installed for horses where the trail crosses 102nd near the Walsingham horse park.
The cost: $5.7 million for improvements to the 2.4 mile stretch of road. That's considerably less than the original $34 million plan that would have improved and widened a 10-mile stretch of 102nd. The design and construction timetable have yet to be determined.
Residents had long and loudly objected to the original plan for safety reasons and fears that a wider street would destroy their neighborhood ambience.
Commissioners were so accustomed to discussing the issue then moving on, they almost forgot to decide on a plan at Tuesday's workshop until Karen Seel asked if they should vote before moving to the next item.
Board members laughed and Susan Latvala asked, "How many more times do we want to do this?"
Commission Chairman Calvin Harris said,
"We've got several scenarios that have been proposed several times so today we will decide what we will do with 102nd from Antilles to Seminole Boulevard."
John Morroni made the motion to accept "scenario one."
"Which is?" Harris asked.
"Which has been explained and discussed in your packet. How's that?" Morroni asked.
Then Morroni explained he thought that was the safest option.
"Safety is my No. 1 issue on this," he said.
The rest of the commission agreed.