Editor: It’s obvious that Mr. Ross Whitaker does not heed his own advice. He’s asked Belleair residents to attend commission meetings and speak up. I regularly attend commission meetings and have never laid eyes on Whitaker. If he would attend meetings and keep abreast of local issues, including traffic problems, his letter in the April 11 edition of the Belleair Bee would not have been short on facts and long on obtuseness.
If he participated in the process he would have learned that the issue of traffic has been discussed, dissected and rehashed for many years. Speed bumps have been installed in some residential neighborhoods; other neighborhoods have posted lower speed limit signs slowing down traffic. A townwide 25 mph speed limit is impractical at best. To suggest that the town install speed bumps at the five entrances to the town, as Whitaker has suggested, borders on insanity. Can you imagine the debacle at the busy intersection of Fort Harrison and Belleview Boulevard if a speed bump were installed?
The intersection in question on Indian Rocks Road, where the traffic circle is proposed, is at the confluence of five streets. Drivers trying to enter Indian Rocks Road here must have excellent neck range of motion. A traffic circle at this location will be twofold, slow down the traffic and make the intersection safe for everyone.
Whitaker makes it sound like this decision to install a traffic circle was a knee-jerk decision, but I’ve heard the discussions and can assure him this is not the case. Belleair practices wise road planning and tax spending as residents who attend town meetings are well aware of.
All the commissioners are readily available to answer questions from residents. Commission meetings twice a month always include an agenda item “citizens’ comments.” Mayor Katica makes himself available every Thursday afternoon to meet and talk with the residents. If Whitaker would have availed himself to the above he would not have ended his letter with “They are supposed to work for us – town of Belleair residents.”