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Neighbors concerned about pole blocking crosswalk entrance on Alternate-19 in Pinellas County

FDOT now plans to relocate power pole
Posted at 5:57 AM, Sep 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-13 10:57:25-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Some neighbors are concerned about a utility pole blocking the entrance to a recently-installed crosswalk on Alternate-19 near Florida Avenue in Palm Harbor.

Larry Ford owns a nearby business and said drivers heading southbound on ALT-19 cannot easily see pedestrians trying to enter the crosswalk.

The crosswalk does light up in three spots when a pedestrian hits the button to cross ALT-19. However, Ford said the utility pole does obscure those trying to enter the crosswalk and so drivers still may not know they need to stop.

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"If you're pushing a button and the flashing lights are going on, you figure it's safe to cross," Ford said. "But if the oncoming traffic can't see those flashing lights, somebody could jet out into the road and get hit."

ABC Action News took these concerns to the Florida Department of Transportation. FDOT sent out workers to investigate the situation. A spokesperson now says the agency plans to relocate the pole north of the existing power pole.

This is just steps away from where FDOT is planning a new roundabout for Alternate U.S. 19 and Florida Avenue in Palm Harbor to try and reduce crashes and increase pedestrian and bicycle safety. The idea is to create more efficient traffic flow in the busy and congested intersection.