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Could humps help along Northdale?

Cars have flipped, people have been injured, and pedestrians on Northdale Boulevard fear for their safety all because some drivers will not slow down.

The problem drew about two dozen homeowners to a meeting Tuesday at Claywell Elementary School, where they debated whether to install speed humps along their main road.

"They do control the speed," said Hillsborough County hearing master Jerry Dabkowski. "We can get speeds to reduce a lot with speed humps."

Although everyone agreed that speeding is a problem, no one at the meeting liked the idea of humps along the stretch of Northdale Boulevard that runs parallel to N Dale Mabry Highway.

Homeowners instead asked Dabkowski to have county engineers do a safety study on the road and come back in six months with other ideas.

"I pretty much have the opinion that speed humps belong in parking lots and nowhere else," said Rez Smith, who lives on Woodside Manor.

Skaters and cyclists don't like riding over speed humps, and critics say they slow down emergency vehicles. Homeowners said they'd rather have deputies patrol the area more often.

One way or another, they said, the county must take action.

"You really are taking your life into your own hands when you come out of Summerdale to go either left or right because of the speed," Kelly Ruege told the audience. "We have so many walkers, so many children coming from Claywell. It's frightening."

Traffic studies show that drivers are traveling about 38 mph on the northern portion of Northdale Boulevard, where the limit is 25 mph, Dabkowski said. Some were going 60 mph, he said. The road sees about 2,000 to 3,000 cars daily.

"I watch this area like a hawk," said Winfield Webster, who has lived in Northdale for 18 years. "These walls have been hit many times. I've seen it all."

Tim Grant can be reached at (813) 269-5311 or at grantsptimes.com.

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