CLEARWATER – Residents of Crescent Oaks subdivision requested that Pinellas County delay changing the median on East Lake Road until Keystone Road is finished.
They believe when traffic from Keystone adds to the current level of vehicles on East Lake, the need for a traffic signal will be more evident.
Pete Yauch, director of transportation and stormwater, told Commissioners that work on Keystone Road likely would not be complete until spring of 2013.
Commissioners approved residents’ request, 3-1, May 22. Commissioner Ken Welch voted no. Commissioners Susan Latvala, John Morroni and Norm Roche were absent.
Crescent Oaks residents have been after the county to put in a traffic signal at the intersection of their private drive and East Lake Road for years. The county refuses to pay for the signal, saying it does not yet meet Florida Department of Transportation standards that a signal is required, and it’s against policy to spend taxpayer money to improve private property.
Instead, commissioners approved a plan April 24 to make median modifications to channelize the westbound left turn on East Lake Road and build a northbound U-turn at Trinity Boulevard.
Yauch said modifications to Trinity Boulevard would continue regardless of what happens with the median at the intersection of Crescent Oaks Boulevard and East Lake Road. Plans for the construction of the northbound U-turn lane at Trinity are already part of the current year’s capital improvement program. Design plans are in the final stages.
Yauch said lane improvements and a signal-controlled U-turn on Trinity have to be in place prior to putting in median restrictions at the Crescent Oaks Boulevard intersection.
County staff supports the median modifications. Yauch said the proposed changes should help improve traffic flow and safety by “reducing the number of conflicting movements at the Crescent Oaks intersection.”
Westbound traffic leaving Crescent Oaks subdivision heading south would have to turn right (north) on East Lake, then make a U-turn at Trinity – something residents prefer not to do.
Welch expressed concern that only four commissioners were at the May 22 meeting. He said he could not support the delay in making median changes.