FDOT approves traffic light at dangerous area of Hillsborough Avenue

Safety improvements are coming to a dangerous area of Hillsborough Avenue.

Just as city leaders had begun to push for a traffic light outside Meridian Pointe Apartments between 22nd and 34th Streets, the Florida Department of Transportation said the request is approved.

The light will be in an area where two teenagers were hit last month. One died as a result of her injuries.

Monique Gillyard lives at Meridian Point and said the new traffic light will finally give people crossing the street another option.

"I cross this street almost every day. So it's like a safety precaution," Gillyard said.

But it could take a year or more for the light to be installed.

"In this particular case, the signal is warranted but there are challenges we have to overcome to get them in -- utilities being in the way, not having enough property, getting the design plans done," said FDOT spokesperson Kris Carson.

Commissioner Les Miller said waiting a year for the traffic light is too long and a temporary crosswalk should be installed.

He also said a light outside Meridian Pointe is just one solution to what he sees as a much larger problem that stretches 3 miles along Hillsborough Avenue from Nebraska Avenue to 50th Street.

"It's not over. We've still got a lot to do and a lot of work to get done," Miller said.

The city and DOT are still looking at other options to improve safety along other areas of Hillsborough Avenue, including adding more street lights and re-timing existing lights to allow more gaps for people to cross.

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