REDINGTON SHORES – A much needed and requested crosswalk, across Gulf Boulevard at Del Bello Park, has been approved at last, Commissioner and Mayor-elect MaryBeth Henderson announced at the Jan. 10 town commission meeting. The Florida Department of Transportation OK’d the crosswalk after having previously turned it down.

Henderson said she had received “literally dozens of emails” from residents wanting the crosswalk. It’s badly needed, she said, as there is a half mile distance between the crosswalks at County Park and the La Vistana condos. “That’s a huge distance,” she said.

There are restaurants and businesses on the east side of Gulf Boulevard that people who live on the west side need to access, and they have a long way to travel between crosswalks, Henderson said.

The crosswalk is “on the books for 2019,” Henderson said, adding that she would like to see it done sooner. “I’d like to see it completed in conjunction with the upcoming undergrounding of utility wires on Gulf Boulevard,” which is planned for later this year, she said.

Henderson said she is looking for some funds and grant money to help finance the crosswalk, and will be working with Forward Pinellas “to see if we can get it done sooner (than next year).”

Undergrounding of Gulf Boulevard

The news on the utility undergrounding on Gulf Boulevard, another town priority project, was not so good, said Mayor Bert Adams.

“It’s moving at a snail’s pace,” Adams said. The problem is “we still need (property) easements.” Adams said about 12 easements have been signed, and about 10 more are needed.

“They are coming in, but slowly,” he said.

Still, Adams said he is hopeful the undergrounding can get started within the next couple of months.

Redington Shores is doing the project together with Redington Beach and North Redington Beach. It includes the undergrounding of utility wires on the east side and crossing Gulf Boulevard in all three towns. Adams said it has not been determined yet whether the work will start at the south end, in Redington Beach, or from Redington Shores at the north end.

Speed control measures working

The town’s efforts to control speeding on residential streets is showing results, Commissioner Jeff Neal reported. Steps taken in recent months include installation of speed control devices, adding stop signs and stepped-up law enforcement. More is being done. Neal said two more electronic speed signs are coming in.

Stop signs and speed limit markings on the roads are being repainted on 180th, 182nd, 174th and 176th avenues and Wall Street. Three-way stop signs are being added on 174th Avenue at 174th Terrace, and 176th Avenue at Sterling Terrace.

The police have also been more active in enforcement, Neal said.

“We’re finally making some headway in getting people slowed down. There are still a few people that want to drive fast, but the police are starting to enlighten some of them a little bit,” said Neal.

Crime prevention classes announced

Public outreach and education are the keys to fighting crime locally, said Indian Shores Police Chief Terry Hughes. Hughes announced a series of outreach education classes, sponsored by the police, to be held at Indian Shores Town Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. The first two will be on identity theft and active aggressors.

Hughes said the classes are one of the best ways to get people educated and aware in case they are caught in that type of situation. “We will give you the tools to work with in case it does happen to you,” he said.

The identity theft class will be on Feb. 22. “People are out there looking for ways to steal your money. Being forewarned and educated is the best way to secure your money,” the chief said.

A class on active Aggressors, which involves not just shooters, but people with knives, baseball bats or “whatever they might bring,” will be held on April 3.

The public is being asked for ideas for future crime prevention classes. One suggested topic was preventing automobile theft by locking car doors, Hughes said, referring to the ongoing rash of thefts from unlocked vehicles that has been occurring in the beach communities and nearby areas.