With a new middle school opening next door in August, residents of several villages in the northwest corner of Westchase are girding for an inevitable increase in traffic along their quiet, two-lane streets.
And the county is willing to help out with traffic calming measures, if homeowners can agree on one or more viable solutions.
County traffic officials met with Kingsford residents early this month to go over their options. The chief concern was the impact the school-related commutes will have on Kingsbridge Avenue, which connects Gretna Green Drive and Montague Street.
Kingsbridge intersects Montague just south of the entrance to Davidsen Middle School, which will open in the fall. In addition, the new Lake Chase apartment complex is expected to bring more traffic to the area.
"As far as Kingsbridge Avenue goes, they're very unique because they have the middle school opening and the apartment complex coming, which certainly could affect them," said Pam Prysner, who heads a traffic calming subcommittee. "And they're currently experiencing speeding and cut-through traffic, which are their major problems."
After the May 2 meeting with residents, county traffic officials prepared two petitions highlighting potential solutions that had received the most support among neighbors.
One plan would block traffic coming from Montague onto Kingsbridge. Also, drivers heading east on Kingsbridge would be restricted to south turns only onto Montague. The other plan calls for speed humps along Kingsbridge.
In the first plan, school traffic would be restricted to Montague, with parents turning around at the drop-off zone and exiting via Montague. Kingsbridge would be limited to one-way traffic eastbound along the last 100 feet of road.
For that plan to be approved, 75 percent of Kingsford residents must favor it. For the speed hump proposal to be approved, 60 percent of residents living on Kingsbridge Avenue must support it, said Todd Miller, manager of the county's traffic engineering section.
Residents can vote for one plan, both or neither of them, Miller said.
Kingsford residents Susan Edgerly and Lewis Patterson will circulate the petitions in coming weeks.
"This will keep school traffic off Kingsbridge entirely," Patterson said. "But nothing has been decided yet."
_ To reach Logan D. Mabe, call 226-3464 or e-mail him at mabesptimes.com.