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Driving hazards discussed
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BELLEAIR – A road concern troubling town residents was discussed at Tuesday’s Town Commission meeting. Resident Rick Ortega confirmed neighborhood concerns about Wildwood Way and Belleview Boulevard.

“Many people speed through Wildwood just to avoid the light at Belleview Boulevard,” Ortega said.

Although the Belleview intersection has a light, there is no left-turn arrow for drivers to turn without worrying about southbound traffic along Fort Harrison Avenue. This, along with no designated turn lane, creates a congestion of cars headed north.

This results in many drivers turning left at the previous intersection on Wildwood, where there is no light, but there is a designated turn area. The traffic dodging is what the residents worry about most.

“The trail is right there,” Ortega continued, referring to the Pinellas Trail that runs parallel to Fort Harrison. “A lot of people ride their bikes, walk or take out their dogs.”

As drivers continue on Wildwood, there is a four-way stop sign. Here too, creates another problem. “At any given time, you can see people run the stop sign,” Ortega said.

Some Wildwood residents are even considering shutting down the road, removing access from Fort Harrison altogether. Another idea includes some kind of gate to be installed during designated hours. Either way, commission members agreed, voicing concerns of there being a fatal accident someday.

In other news, Ellen Snibbe sat attentively as town attorney Tony Tuntasit read the resolution honoring her husband. Robert Snibbe Sr. was mayor of Belleair from 1979 until 1985. He also resided there for several years and played an active role in the community. He passed away June 4. Snibbe’s son, Robert Snibbe Jr., stood and shook Mayor George Mariani’s hand after he gave them the honorary document. The commission and those who attended applauded the family when the reading of the resolution was complete.

It was announced that Belleair won runner-up honors in the Florida Cities of Excellence City Spirit Award. A Waterford crystal rested on the commission’s desk throughout the meeting. Belleair’s nomination for the award stemmed from their hospitality toward families who lost a loved one on 9/11 and other acts of terrorism.
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