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Guest columnist calls traffic calming ineffective

I don't know how big the home­owners association is along West Village Drive, but I have never seen people work so hard to accomplish something other than the Apollo moon project.

The moon project had a space capsule with a computer in it, comparable today to a digital watch. They never stopped pushing that project and we know the rest of that story. We put a man on the moon!

In a similar way, the community around West Village Drive is trying to stop cars from speeding through their street. The problem is, the road is designed like a Ferrari test track. Perfect curves, nice gradual landscaping complementing the road, and people who probably feel like they are living next to Malibu Grand Prix. You couldn't have designed a road more perfectly to get your wheels to squeal around each corner with such little effort.

The one-mile street has more signs posted along it than the hand-sign alphabet. If you melted them, you could put grandstands along the whole track — I mean road — start to finish.

Traffic calming devices made lines on the road narrower, so you would have to drive more slowly to stay between them.

Personally, I wanted to drive that road even more because it felt like a Pac Man game. I would take my wife's yellow Volkswagen Beetle out there and run over those center-line yellow dashes. I could hear the Pac Man music in my head as I came up on a blue car, thinking it was a Pac Man ghost. It wasn't until the lights came on that I realized it was a sheriff's deputy. Did you know they don't serve food at the county jail after midnight?

Now they're planting gardens in the median, making this the most beautiful race track in north Tampa. I thought they were trying to slow traffic for the longest time, but now realize the community president must be Tony Stewart. All the plants were purchased at Home Depot, as was the yellow paint used for the Ms. Pac Man dots. Soon to come, multiunit condos for pit stops, crew not included!

I would love to be at the traffic calming meetings to hear their next idea. The only thing missing, and without question would work, is to get 10-foot-high stormwater drain pipes, connect them together, cut out windows so you can see the landscaping, and have people drive through in reverse with 3-D glasses on.

Editor's note: Bruce Michaud lives in Odessa, north of Carrollwood Village's West Village Drive. And we're pretty sure the county, not the home­owners association, installed the traffic calming devices.

Guest columnist calls traffic calming ineffective 08/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2008 4:30am]
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