1. Archive

It's time to shift the focus to the positive changes

Published Sep. 26, 2005

Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Is anyone else out there tired of hearing about the roundabout? Enough!

I choose to focus on the positive, which I perceive happening all over our city. What about the stunning medians on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard; looks a bit like Naples to me. What about the gorgeous park where the Atrium Hotel once half stood?

How about the fact that ugly signs and billboards are dropping like flies? Poof, the old chamber of commerce is gone and Coachman Park is better than ever.

The list goes on and on, but why not make up your own. My sincere thanks to our city's mayor, staff and commission for all of the positive changes.

Pamela Swift, Clearwater

Lesson should be learned from New England streets

The following was written by Ricki Morell in the Boston Globe's "City Weekly" section. I would appreciate the Times reprinting it to enlighten the Clearwater City Commission and the taxpayers:

"Traffic rotaries, those chaotic circles that epitomize Boston driving at its worst, are a remnant of a more civilized era. In a more leisurely past, automobiles spun gently around leafy circles on the way to outings at the beach or picnics at the park.

"When more or less equal amounts of traffic are entering from each road, rotaries can work well. But as traffic flow increases, rotaries become lopsided, with bigger roads dominating. Today, rotaries are inefficient and dangerous, obstacles in the great commuting race. They handle too much traffic and generate too much confusion. And they are magnets for minor accidents because most drivers have no idea how to negotiate a rotary or who has the right of way.

"So Massachusetts is beginning the long goodbye to its 80 rotaries. Over the next 10 years, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, highway planners will phase out the most dangerous of them, replacing them with overpasses and underpasses, traffic lights and diamond interchanges. . . ."

Charles G. Chigas, Clearwater

Roundabout adds beauty to a daily commute

I cannot believe all of the complaints regarding the new roundabout. I have to travel on it at least twice a day from my home on Sand Key to my work in Clearwater and I love it.

Even with the sometimes confusion, it is still faster than the previous intersection and a striking addition to the beach.

The fountain is absolutely beautiful and I dispute that it detracts in any way from the beach vistas. It provides a beautiful entrance to a beautiful beach. The confusion will diminish with time.

I'm not sure what will happen during Spring Break and how it will handle very heavy traffic, but I have yet to encounter a single instance in my driving where I felt the old way was quicker.

It may take older residents some time to adjust, and many of those people who don't like development of any kind when it disrupts the status quo, but they should give it time.

The fountain/roundabout is a welcome enhancement. Perhaps some more informative signs might assist drivers.

David De Coursy, Clearwater

Poor traffic design leads to accident in roundabout

The roundabout _ what a mess. I live on Sand Key and for over 15 years have exited the main beach area from the south without any difficulty. Last week I had an accident in the so-called roundabout: $912 in damages to my car alone.

I entered the roundabout on the left (inside) lane from the south but crashed into another car at the point of exiting the roundabout. It seems the other car was going from the South Beach to the North Beach and was alongside me on the right (outside) lane. He turned left and I turned right at the roundabout exit point.

Since this accident, I have attempted to go to the beach library from Sand Key and find it almost impossible to do so without crossing lanes or cutting off cars leaving the beach. God help us if we do not redesign this mess. At least, provide a direct route from south to north, as was the case before we spent all this wasted money.

Howard Deimel, Clearwater

Unsafe traffic circle forces unfond farewell to beach

Goodbye, Clearwater Beach!

Hip, hip, hooray and kudos to George Kelly for spending his time and money to speak for (probably) the majority of Clearwater residents. His insightful political advertisement in the Jan. 25 Times was straight to the point. It is not hard to see that he has done his homework on the mistakes our city fathers have made in producing the round (and round) about.

We live on Sand Key, work every day and go out to dinner a lot. We used to go to Clearwater Beach so we could enjoy the great restaurants and the beach views. The roundabout ended this habit. We now go south to places at the other end of the beach.

We still get a view at some restaurants but few that are as beautiful as Clearwater Beach, but we do arrive safely and with no damage to our cars or to ourselves.

I feel sure the fountain may (at some time in my lifetime) be resolved.

Meanwhile, we (and our friends) will miss Clearwater Beach and all it has to offer.

Sandy Evans, Clearwater