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Lower speed limit needed on Ehrlich

The writer sent us a copy of a letter he also sent to Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman.

I recently read about the danger motorists face on Bearss Avenue as it leaves N Dale Mabry Highway to the east, where a teenager was killed; and about the lack of sidewalks and paths, making for potential and actual human road kill at several spots in the county.

You recently came by my house asking whether I would identify any problems that you could solve that would make me happy enough with your performance to induce me to vote for you and get others to do the same.

I readily comprehend the relationship.

I'm sure you know that as you come west onto Ehrlich from Dale Mabry, there are no sidewalks on the north side, and the one on the south side is only accessible at a few points all the way to Ben Hill Middle School, where I taught until recently.

We live close by and I was never able to walk to school without seriously risking my life.

The speed limit, for starters, is excessive. This road serves an increasing number of unprotected turnoffs and much higher use, which will soon lead to more rage and a guaranteed high incidence of cars driven into those destabilizing deep ditches and against those life-snuffing utility poles.

A pedestrian or bicyclist on the north side wouldn't stand a chance.

Some progress is evident in the sidewalk at the new storage facility near the 7-Eleven store. But there is no immediate plan to continue it west.

A turn onto or off of Ehrlich to the right has no protected lane at 13 points along this stretch to Ben Hill. Good luck maneuvering on or off Ehrlich at those streets or commercial driveways.

A sane speed limit under these challenging and accident-inducing conditions is certainly NOT 50 mph. It is certainly less on Dale Mabry, Sheldon Avenue, Bearss and the other parts of Ehrlich. Moreover, there is a 15 mph limit at Ben Hill that argues further for reducing the limit. It matters not that it is well marked; I have witnessed numerous drivers react late at Ben Hill because at 50 mph, many people don't register the warning!

I have already heard the trite, invalid explanations about why the speed will remain at 50 mph and why there won't be any sidewalks built on the north side of Ehrlich. Unless you can offer a positive response, I prefer not to hear from you at all.

But unless something is done soon, I and other residents are holding you responsible for the human road kill. It is only a matter of time.

Bob Fernandez

Devonshire Woods

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