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Traffic relief coming _ eventually

In the fall of 2001, a block party was held in my neighborhood to inform dwellers on Linwood Drive in Clearwater what was being proposed to slow down the traffic on this street. The fire department, the police and planning people with all the maps and all the trimmings came.

Well, since then, nothing. The speed limit on this street is 25 mph, but cars and commercial vehicles use it to beat nearby traffic lights. They speed down this road, which is loaded with kids. Emergency vehicles couldn't get through if they had to. When some kid gets killed, something may get done. Thank you for any information you can dig up. E. Giltner

Response: Ken Sides, traffic calming engineer with the city of Clearwater, said many other Clearwater residents have expressed your concerns about speeding traffic and aggressive driving in their neighborhoods. The Clearwater traffic calming program was created in response.

Eight neighborhoods with the most crashes were identified, he said, and yours, Greenlea-Otten, was among them. The property owners in these neighborhoods were invited to participate in identifying the problem locations and helping to design the traffic calming plan they wanted for their neighborhood.

Sides said the neighborhood calming projects that receive 65 percent consensus among property owners will be built in order of crash ranking. These projects will proceed as rapidly as possible within budget constraints. The Greenlea-Otten neighborhood is ranked fifth in priority, behind other neighborhoods with more crashes, and is slated for construction in approximately 2008.

It appears the only way to speed things up would be for more crashes to occur in your neighborhood, and we're sure you don't want that. Of course, by the time your traffic calming devices are in place, the kids you're worried about today will be teenagers with cars, who won't necessarily appreciate the efforts to get them to slow down.

Recent recalls

The following products, distributed nationwide and in Florida, were recalled between March 15 and 21:

+ About 21,000 Exmark brand Lazer Z HP series, commercial-grade riding mowers by Exmark Manufacturing; the exhaust system can ignite fuel vapors from spilled fuel if the engine backfires. Contact dealer or call toll-free 1-800-479-8379 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays or send an e-mail to serviceexmark.com. Web site: www.exmark.com.

+ About 13,000 Toro-brand Zmaster Z100 series, commercial-grade riding mowers by Toro Co.; the exhaust system can ignite fuel vapors from spilled fuel if the engine backfires. Contact dealer or call toll-free 1-800-225-0578 any time.

+ About 28,000 Dixon ZTR riding lawn mowers by Dixon Industries; the fuel tanks on these mowers can crack and leak fuel, posing a fire hazard and risk of burn injuries to consumers. Contact dealer or call toll-free 1-877-288-6673 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays. Web site: www.dixon-ztr.com.

+ About 600 Wal-Mart Home Trends two-paneled fireplace screens with model number 500RR, by Pascal Products Co.; the paint on the metal mesh can ignite when exposed to a direct flame, posing a serious fire hazard. Return to any Wal-Mart store for full refund. Call Pascal at (601) 362-6813 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

+ About 165,000 paperweights by Dollar Tree Stores; they can leak petroleum distillates, posing ingestion and flammability hazards. Affected are four styles: pyramid, pyramid with heart, heart and double heart, all with sailboats or hearts floating in liquid. Return to store for refund. Call toll-free 1-800-876-8077 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

+ Jade Products Inc. has recalled for repair about 7,200 Dynasty gas ranges. The ranges can tip over if a heavy weight is placed on an open oven door, posing a risk of burn injuries from hot food or liquids in cooking containers. Affected are 30-, 36- and 48-inch units with the model number DGRSC. Call toll-free 1-888-607-5694 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

+ Le PIM's soft biscuits with fruit filling, by Great Brands of Europe Inc.; the products may contain undeclared traces of milk protein. The recall affects only people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk protein. The recalled product comes in three flavors (orange, pear and raspberry) with UPC codes 6-94990-00850-6, 6-94990-00855-1, and 6-94990-08370-1. Return to store where purchased for refund. Call toll-free 1-800-322-4619.

Sources: SafetyAlerts at www.safetyalerts.com; Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov, toll-free 1-800-638-2772; Food and Drug Administration at www.fda.gov.; government food safety information at www.foodsafety.gov.

Action solves problems and gets answers for you. If you have a question, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write Times Action, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or call your Action number, (727) 893-8171, or, outside of Pinellas, toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 8171, to leave a recorded request.

Requests will be accepted only by mail or voice mail; calls cannot be returned. We will not be responsible for personal documents, so please send only photocopies. If your complaint concerns merchandise ordered by mail, we need copies of both sides of your canceled check.

We may require additional information or prefer to reply by mail; therefore, readers must provide a full mailing address, including ZIP code. Names of letter writers will not be omitted except in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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