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Citrus Park traffic-calming plan raises eyebrows

Putting the kibosh on speeders is usually a good thing for a neighborhood. But a plan to calm traffic on Alvina Street in Citrus Park has made some homeowners there apprehensive.

"It's not about speed humps, it's about opening us up to Post,'' said Linda Gadbaw, who has lived on Basswood Avenue for nearly three decades.

Gadbaw said she thinks the proposed traffic calming is in preparation for cut-through traffic from the apartment complex.

Post Properties wants to build 300 apartments on 20 acres on Gunn Highway. The tract is across from Sickles High School and next to a Publix supermarket.

Some in Citrus Park say the proposed apartment community is too intense a use for the area and the surrounding road network.

Post, meanwhile, has cleared nearly every government hurdle except the one dealing with traffic. And traffic is a sticking point.

The county says Post will have to do something to mitigate the number of cars the apartments would put on the road.

So far, the only plan that has surfaced is one that would connect Post to the Publix parking lot, a step that could create a cut-through to Gunn.

Alvina as a potential cut-through, however, seems to be off the table. The county had at one time planned to require that Post connect to Alvina, said Jeffrey Jenkins, who oversees the so-called Citrus Park Village Plan. But TECO, which owns the easement along Alvina, said it already has plans for the right of way.

Jenkins said Post intends to build a stormwater retention area next to the Alvina right of way, so "as far as connection, or the desire of Post to connect with Alvina, that's not going to happen.''

Gadbaw is not convinced. She said "there are a lot of little opportunities to open into Citrus Park if not on Alvina.''

County spokesman Steve Valdez said it was the home­owners along Alvina who asked for the traffic-calming meeting.

"They sent a letter with five signatures, and we went out there and verified that, yes, there is a speed problem on the street,'' Valdez said.

A public meeting will be held Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Sickles High School.

Jackie Ripley can be reached at

ripley@sptimes.com or (813) 269-5308.

>>if you go

Traffic-calming meeting

Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Sickles High School Cafeteria, 7950 Gunn Highway.

Citrus Park traffic-calming plan raises eyebrows 03/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2008 5:00am]
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