DUNEDIN — Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski said that she and City Manager Jennifer Bramley had a productive meeting Nov. 4 with representatives of different agencies involved in oversight of the entrance to Honeymoon Island.
“We’ve had several meetings in the last month, but this was getting every single person in the room and having a conversation,” Ward Bujalski said at a City Commission work session. “It’s just another step.”
Bujalski said officials have a plan that is 60 percent complete for adding an extra lane or two and other improvements.
She added that park attendants have never had to close the gate because the park is full.
“A big concern is that letting people in more quickly is going to make them fill up. The backup is a natural attrition for them,” she said.
Officials are concerned about motorists being stuck in traffic for 45 minutes then approaching a closed gate and being upset.
“That’s a very valid concern,” she said.
Officials are discussing ways to have a message system that would notify people ahead of time that the park is almost full.
“We are just continuing to work it through and see what happens,” she said.
Commissioner Jeff Gow thanked Bujalski for the update, saying it is important for residents and visitors.
In an email, Bujalski said the agencies represented at the meeting at City Hall included the city of Dunedin, Forward Pinellas, Honeymoon Island Park staff, the Florida Department of Transportation and the state parks department.
“We are really excited to be working in partnership with these organizations to take positive steps in alleviating the traffic backup on Dunedin Causeway and Curlew Road,” she said.
Bujalski has said that one of the top causes of traffic on the Dunedin Causeway is the entrance to the island.