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Clearwater leaders need your help making streets safer

Posted at 4:27 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 17:56:43-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Putting dangerous streets on the radar: Clearwater leaders need your help identifying roads and sidewalks putting you in danger.

Monday and Tuesday night the city is hosting open house sessions where you can meet with transportation leaders to suggest safety changes along the streets you rely on.

Robert Cameron is the guy with the answers when you have questions about seafood in Clearwater. As the owner of Ward’s Seafood Market, he's built a reputation over several decades of being the guy to go to when you need something from undersea. Yet, recently, he's become an unexpected expert at something else: Dialing up 9-1-1 in a dash.

“You hear that screech and you cringe. You close your eyes because you know 9 times out of 10 there’s going to be a big whack at the end. I've heard that sound so many times that I know now by the crash noise just how serious the accident is," Cameron explained.

The intersection of Bellaire and Martin Luther King in Clearwater is on top of the city’s radar for the number of drivers colliding.

"I've seen some really bad crashes. People going through lights, hitting cars and flipping vehicles over,” Cameron said while motioning to the intersection just a couple feet away.

A few miles away, Glenn DeCosta bikes along another area that's on the city's radar: Sunset Pointe Road. “You definitely don’t want to be on this street riding your bike because it’s not wide enough,” DeCosta said while taking a break from cycling.

Yet, he says the sidewalks aren’t much better because many end abruptly forcing riders into the street or have low hanging vegetation which makes it tough to navigate.

Over the past five years, there have been 16,897 crashes in Clearwater alone, according to city statistics. 52 people were killed in those crashes. 

Now, Clearwater leaders want your help identifying flaws on the streets putting all of us in danger.
It’s exactly what led to changes on Drew Street after hundreds of people approached the city begging for help…and got it! 

“You’d look at the data and go wow, they’re right,” Richard Hartman in the city's transportation department explained.

Drew Street will soon be changed to three lanes in some sections, will have new turn lanes and wider bike lanes.

Clearwater leaders hope with your feedback, they’ll be able to make changes along dozens of roads. They're certain those changes will save lives. 

If you have suggestions to make a road in Clearwater safer, you can meet with city leaders Monday, October 22 from 6-8 p.m. at the Ross Norton Rec Center and Tuesday, October 23 from 6-8 p.m. at the Countryside Library. You can also fill out an online survey here.