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Wesley Chapel neighbors continue to fight for safety changes on County Line Road

DTBF Wesley Chapel County Line Road.png
Posted at 7:49 AM, Sep 21, 2022

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla — Neighbors in Wesley Chapel continue their fight for safety changes along County Line Road. They say drivers speed and don't stop for people that are attempting to cross in the crosswalks.

“She’s standing in the middle, and these people are blowing by her,” Kyle Molder said in a video he recorded that shows his daughter unable to get safely across the road.

“If you’re going to have them here, then you should be able to feel safe using them,” he said about the 19 crosswalks that span from Mansfield Road to Bruce B. Downs.

Molder said most people don’t feel safe in them and choose not to use them because of that.

This is a residential community of thousands of homes, and this is literally a high-speed highway running right through the middle,” he said.

But, Molder admits more kids are forced to walk and bike along this road after the Pasco County School District did away with courtesy busing for kids within two miles of their school. He said enforcement and safety are limited in the area.

We have literally three crosswalk guards, and they are there for maybe two hours in the morning,” Molder said.

It can even be dangerous to walk on the sidewalks. In 2020, a woman was speeding down the road and lost control near Solitude Drive and slammed into a tree. That woman died from her injuries.

Just two weeks ago, a car lost control and slammed into a brick wall across the street from where the fatality occurred. It took out a light pole along the way, and another car flipped on its side.

“Any pedestrian on the sidewalk, anybody in the bike lane at the time would’ve been killed,” said Molder.

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At the very least, Molder would like the county to add flashing beacons at some of the crosswalks so people can press a button when they’re ready to cross. He believes if at least one driver stops, it will force others behind them to stop too.

“When I reached out to traffic operations, they said well you don’t have enough people using them to put any kind of flashers in,” Molder said. “Well, people I don’t think use them because it’s inherently dangerous.”

ABC Action News reached out to the county about whether flashing beacons is an option. We also asked about the most recent traffic study it did.

The county said while it doesn’t collect crash data, it came out on April 28, 2022, at the intersection of County Line Road and Solitude Drive. It found 13,000 vehicles traveled in both directions that day. The average speed was 43 miles per hour, with the posted speed limit at 35.

Back in 2020, the county did lower the speed limit from 40 to 35.

ABC Action News reached out to the Florida Highway Patrol to find out how many crashes have happened on County Line Road between Mansfield and Bruce B. Downs over the past three years.

FHP is in the process of pulling that data.