County Commission Votes To Approve New Design
Published April 24th, 2012
With a major backlog of road construction projects to consider, Alachua County Commissioners move forward on one pressing need. They voted 3 to 2 voted to approve a new design for one of the busiest intersections in North Central Florida. It's the corner of Southwest 20th Avenue and 61st street in Southwest Gainesville.
County officials say the intersection design involved widening out so there's a right turn lane and two left turn lanes. Residents say the changes need to be made before anything tragic happens.
"Sooner or Later God forbid a tragedy is going to occur," Marcel Mason, Linton Oaks resident said.
Marcel Mason has lived in the Linton Oaks neighborhood for three years and has seen many accidents happen. He just saw one on Monday.
"When the one car did out, an accident occurred right before the bridge," Mason said.
He hopes the county will do something to prevent more accidents from happening.
"They need some stop signs or turnabouts or something, because its a dangerous intersection," Mason said.
"All in favor of the motion please say aye, those who oppose, motion carries 3-2 with Delaney and Byerly in dissent," Paula Delaney, County Commissioner said.
Commissioners met with staff to figure out ways to make the project safer for everyone. Residents were concerned the broader project, to connect SW 8th Avenue to 61st Street could become a high speed corridor.
"In the future we're going to have a problem there, I do want 8th Avenue to be open, I do agree with Mike Byerly on still wanting it to be a residential area, but speed bumps is what going to help this area," one resident told the commission.
But some commissioners felt if this project goes through, other problems need to be addressed.
"You're going to alleviate the tower road then, so then tower road becomes a bigger priority as it always should be," Susan Baird, County Commissioner said.
This intersection, however, will be first.
"Its a very dangerous intersection, and you have children catching school buses here every morning," Mason said.
County leaders are still in talks about the Southwest 8th Avenue Connector but they're trying to purchase the land for the project.
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