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Neighbors worry Forest Lakes Boulevard widening could speed up traffic

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 14:37:15-04

OLDSMAR, Fla. — Pinellas County wants to expand a busy Oldsmar road and neighbors think the project could cut down on their commute. 

Morning, afternoon and evening many neighbors say Forest Lakes Blvd is jammed with cars.

"Traffic on Forest Lakes has picked up tremendously over the years,” said Dale Wright, who’s been watching the area grow over the last two decades. 

Chad Haggert lives in the development across the street and says his neighbors have a hard time leaving their subdivision. 

"Coming out of this entrance to the neighborhood at certain times of the day it’s almost impossible to get out,” he said. 

It’s one reason Pinellas County hopes to widen the road into 2 lanes and add a 5-foot wide paved shoulder as a designated bike lane and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk on both sides.

"I personally thought when they built the thing like 15 years ago they should’ve made two lanes out of it anyhow,” said Wright.

Currently, Forest Lakes Blvd. is a 4 lane road when it intersects with Tampa road. The right lane merges when you pass Pine Avenue.

Haggert says that does force people to slow down. 

"If they widen it and go to the two lanes, the cars that are wanting to travel at those high rates of speed will be able to zip in and out of traffic,” he said. 

We tweeted about the changes and Complete Streets Tampa tweeted back, sharing the same concerns over speeding — saying widening the road will encourage people to drive dangerously.

Pinellas County says its open to hearing concerns and opinions at a meeting Thursday, June 28 at Oldsmar City Council Chambers (101 State Street West, Oldsmar, FL from 5:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.)