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Some residents concerned about planned roundabout near school

Posted: 6:10 PM, Nov 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-27 23:10:15Z

Some Tampa residents are expressing concerns about roundabouts planned for a stretch of road the city considers to be one of the most dangerous in the area.

Earlier this month, ABC Action News reported on a project to build three roundabouts on N. 34th Street at the intersections of E. 21st Ave, Lake Ave and Osborne Ave .  

After seeing our report, Willie Sams, who lives near N. 34th and Osborne, called our Driving Tampa Bay Forward tip line. 

“I understand why they’re trying to improve things and, as they said, cut down on accidents, but let’s educate people before we start doing things because some people don’t know what a roundabout is,” said Sams. 

Sams is also worried about kids crossing the street to get to a nearby school. 

“If you have problems with a crossing guard getting across the street with a red light, how are you supposed to get across with a roundabout?” she said. 

We took her questions to Jean Duncan, City of Tampa Director of Transportation and Stormwater Services. Duncan says the city will be working with the Metropolitan Planning Organization to provide roundabout educational outreach programs to nearby schools and the sheriff’s office to make sure crossing guards are properly informed. The city is also looking into possibly installing pedestrian flashing beacons at locations where there are crossing guards. 

Duncan also noted that there have been two public meetings about the N. 34th project where the proper usage of roundabouts was discussed, but more education is planned. 

The Florida Department of Transportation cites data showing roundabouts result in 90 percent fewer fatalities, less pollution and are more time efficient for drivers. 

Construction is expected to begin on N. 34th Street in 2019 with completion in 2020.