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Bad road design yields dangerous intersection

Two men dead in car, bike crash | story, Aug. 21

Road design flaw needs correction

Another fatal accident has occurred at the intersection of Keene Road and Sunset Point Road, and I felt compelled to write about a design flaw at this intersection that may have contributed to this accident and will probably contribute to more in the future unless it is corrected.

Northbound traffic on Keene Road is allowed to make left turns onto Sunset Point on a solid green light. But because there are two left turn lanes on southbound Keene, and because the lanes are offset slightly, northbound drivers turning left onto Sunset Point cannot see oncoming through traffic if there are cars in the southbound left-turn lanes — they are nearly at the intersection. With a 45 mph speed limit, there is very little margin of error.

I live west of Keene, off of Sunset Point Road, and have two children who are inexperienced drivers. I have told them not to take this route home and I avoid it myself because it is not safe.

There are two simple changes that would remedy this situation. The first would be to let northbound traffic turn left on a green arrow only. The other option would be to eliminate one of the southbound left turn lanes to allow greater visibility.

Hopefully, one of these changes will take place to avoid future tragedies.

Kurt O'Brien, Clearwater

Two men dead in car, bike crash | story, Aug. 21

Judge bears some blame as well

How many DUI arrests will it take to get drivers like Jimmy Alton Dunn off the road for good? I don't understand why, after three DUI arrests and another arrest for driving with a revoked license, a judge would agree to reinstate Dunn's license. It just doesn't make any sense. At least to me it doesn't.

Not only does the judge involved in the case deserve to have both hands slapped, he or she should be booted right out of the judicial system. It's also obvious that those who have their licenses revoked need more monitoring, since they have no respect for the law.

While I do understand that Dunn had severe emotional problems and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he still had no business being behind the wheel.

It's no wonder mothers are MADD.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

Applause for new history course

I often hear parents complain about the lack of challenging curricula in Florida public schools. Often, capable students are neither directed nor encouraged to take advanced and honors classes. Many ninth-grade students enter high school unprepared. Frustrated parents look to private schools to fill this void.

This school year, Safety Harbor Middle School will offer two advanced eighth-grade social studies classes on the history of the United States. The classes will encourage higher order thinking skills and prepare them for the rigorous ninth-grade American Government Honors and Global Studies courses at Countryside High School.

The bar in these middle school classes will be set higher because the students in these classes have been identified as "gifted" or have shown by their grades, test scores and class performance that they can handle faster-paced course work. If designed correctly, they will not be taught by the old memorize-regurgitate method so often implemented in social studies classes. The classes will provoke the students to think beyond the basics and delve deeper into United States history in order to give them a better appreciation of our country today. It is long overdue.

I applaud Pinellas County Schools for implementing this pilot program but lament the fact that not every qualified, bright and capable student will be allowed to take this class because the enrollment has been capped at 44 students. What a shame!

Stephanie Brown, Clearwater

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Bad road design yields dangerous intersection 08/23/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 23, 2008 5:59pm]
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