Pinellas County won't install speed bumps due to budget cuts to the program

Program cut from budget

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Saving money or putting lives at risk? Pinellas County hasn’t installed a single residential speed bump in the past 8 years. Some neighbors in unincorporated Pinellas County say that’s now putting them in danger.

Most kids spend their summer outside playing, but 8 year old Madalyn Sinift is on a mission. "Slow down," she shouted at passing cars. 

The streets in her family's Oakhurst Shore neighborhood near Seminole have been troubled by speeders for years.

Madalyn and her mom, Amber Parker, are desperate to slow drivers down.

“Recently my daughter was riding her bike and she got out a white t-shirt and was flagging down the drivers so they didn’t hit her,” Parker explained.

The speed limit along Bayshore Drive and Walker Avenue is 25 miles per hour, but neighbors tell us cars zoom by at nearly double the limit.

Dan Justino exclaimed, “It feels like it’s the Indy 500!” His dog Buster narrowly missed a speeding car, too. “You hate to think there has to be a loss of life that motivates people to do stuff. I believe in an ounce of prevention.”

The neighbors agree speed bumps could make a huge difference, but when they contacted the county they got a big surprise. Pinellas County hasn’t installed a single speed bump in unincorporated areas since 2009, when commissioners cut the program during the recession to save money. 

Instead Pinellas County brought out digital speed readers, occasional deputies and asked neighbors to pass out flyers. Neighbors in Oakhurst Shores say none of it has worked.

"Everyone pays attention that week and then they’re back to normal speed,” Parker added.

One neighbor, Tom Noonan even brought the idea to a recent Pinellas County Community Conversation meeting, "but I didn't get an answer because county leaders ran out of time. I'm still waiting," he said with a sigh.

Madalyn and her mom say they won’t give up fighting until Pinellas County leaders agree to install speed bumps, and until then, Madalyn has a message for any lead foot drivers. “If you don’t slow down, I’ll call the cops. Just because I’m 8 years old doesn’t mean I don’t have a phone.”

Since we started making calls, Pinellas County says they’re taking a second look at the speeding problems in the Oakhurst Shores neighborhood. 

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