SEMINOLE — Traffic safety concerns were the focus of the Seminole City Council at its March 9 meeting.
City Manager Ann Toney-Deal advised council members she had written a letter to Pinellas County officials about the intersection of Temple Terrace and Seminole Boulevard, which she termed “not the best situation in the world.”
The intersection has a stop sign, a painted stop bar line, and a crosswalk, but is partially obstructed by poles and a traffic control box. The location is “a massive infrastructure,” she said.
Seminole has no standing to correct issues there, Toney-Deal said, because Seminole Boulevard is a state road maintained by the county.
Although residents are worried about the visibility of informational traffic signs at the intersection, a consulting engineer found the intersection met visibility standards. County officials have permission from the state to place a signpost with an arrow pointing to the stop bar, she said, but have yet to put it in place.
She was not aware of any accidents at that location in which the visual obstruction was a contributing factor.
The council authorized Toney-Deal to write a letter to state and county officials requesting a reevaluation of visibility at the intersection.
Separately, resident Erin Schofield asked council members to “look over the citywide goals and consider public in-school safety a top priority.”
Schofield had spoken at the Feb. 23 meeting about the lack of adequate sidewalks at Orange Grove Elementary School. Heavy automobile traffic at the school sometimes blocks the views of students and adult pedestrians entering and leaving the school grounds, endangering their safety.
At the March 9 meeting, Schofield said residents in the area “want to help you guys. We see a lot more than you guys can even imagine.”
Police just see “bits and pieces” of the problems, she said.
Schofield added that foot traffic in the area of the school was heightened by the presence of two nearby school bus stops.
Toney-Deal said city staff was working on the problem but cautioned that “it’s not a fast process.” She said she had met with officials from the Sheriff’s Office and the school board, including the area superintendent, and that city staff was working to identify the problem and when it was happening.
The city manager said she hoped to present recommendations to the council in a month.
In other action, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Siem advised the council of a telephone scam in which callers asked residents for their personal information in the guise of raising money for law enforcement charities or a memorial fund for Deputy Michael Magli, who recently died in the line of duty.
Law enforcement agencies will never call to raise money, the deputy advised. Residents receiving such calls should contact the Sheriff’s Office at its non-emergency number, 727-582-6200.