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Pinellas letters: Bridge closing poorly handled

Bridge closing

poorly handled

Saturday evening we experienced another fatality on the new Memorial Causeway Bridge and the ensuing traffic fiasco afterward.

Not only was there a loss of life, but the traffic problems that ensued were inexcusable.

Why no police officers were positioned at Clearwater Beach diverting traffic to the Belleair Causeway Bridge for eastbound traffic amazes me.

However, what amazes me even more is that no police officers were positioned at Myrtle or Missouri avenues to divert traffic south to that bridge for those trying to head west to either Clearwater Beach or Sand Key.

Westbound traffic was diverted off the Memorial Causeway Bridge as late as 11 p.m. Saturday, yet motorists were not informed of the closing until they arrived at Fort Harrison Avenue.

Additionally, there is a huge electronic overhead sign on westbound Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, next to Crest Lake Park. I was under the assumption it was installed for just such diversions.

At some point, we must have better coordination when the bridge is closed to inform motorists to take alternate routes.

Gus Pantelides, Clearwater

Boat ramp access poses a danger

I have contacted Pinellas County in reference to an acute traffic problem at Alt. U.S. 19 and the county's Sutherland Bayou Boat Ramp (formerly the Palm Harbor Resort).

Residents of Crystal Bay Travel Park and Crystal Bay Mobile Home Park are competing with bikers, runners and walkers using the Pinellas Trail, and with large trucks pulling trailers and boats, for access to Alt. U.S. 19.

I have complained to no avail. I have asked Pinellas County to open up an entrance from Sutherland Bayou Boat Ramp to Missouri Avenue, where the county has a 100-foot easement. This would help prevent future accidents.

Pinellas County officials, please don't wait until an accident occurs.

James J. Roti Roti, Palm Harbor

Shoppes should

not be rezoned

My husband and I are residents of Sand Key and we, along with many others, are very concerned about the proposed rezoning of the Shoppes On Sand Key.

We are enjoying our retirement, loving the relative calm of living on Sand Key and the convenience of having so many services available to us within walking distance.

We've often commented to visitors and friends that we have the feeling of a neighborhood because, once you cross onto Sand Key, there's so much less traffic, confusion and noise. We feel very fortunate to live here.

All that would change if the Shoppes on Sand Key are rezoned to tourist. Since Sand Key is not a "destination resort," rezoning would bring in huge hotels, or allow the existing hotels to become mega-structures. This would bring in more vehicles, causing outlandish traffic and danger to any pedestrian that tries to cross Gulf Boulevard to get to the gulf beaches or the Intracoastal Waterway.

The increase in traffic would affect all of Gulf Boulevard, including homes and side streets, when those residents try to egress onto Gulf Boulevard. Our entire residential area would no longer have that safe residential feel nor the conveniences of our Shoppes.

Another very viable concern is the water shortage Florida is experiencing. The huge amount of water required for these hotels would be unbelievable.

I'm not against improvements. Improvements have contributed to the beauty of living in Clearwater on Sand Key and have made it the restful community we now enjoy. My husband and I lived here years ago but had to leave because of job location.

Now that he has retired, guess where we headed? Right back to Sand Key to enjoy its charm, beauty and convenience.

Our hope is that the Community Development Board and the City Council will not change this for us and for our neighbors and will vote against the rezoning to tourist. Let us keep our Shoppes — our neighborhood.

Beverly Baughman, Clearwater

Pinellas letters: Bridge closing poorly handled 03/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:41am]
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