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Will changes at Dunedin's Skinner Boulevard create new safety issues near Pinellas Trail crossing?

Concerns raised over proposed roundabout, parking
Posted: 11:18 AM, Apr 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-24 06:43:09Z
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DUNEDIN, Fla. — The Pinellas Trail crossing at Skinner Boulevard in Dunedin is one of the busiest in the entire county. Dunedin wants to make changes in the area to slow drivers down and make it safer for walkers and bikers after 80 crashes occurred over a five year period from 2014 to 2018.

Yet, some Forward Pinellas members say if the plan goes forward, it could actually create new safety concerns. The reason: Dunedin leaders want to add a roundabout just feet from the trail crossing. Some members of the 13-member Forward Pinellas board, made up of local city and county leaders, are raising concerns saying drivers already have trouble figuring out roundabouts, now imagine adding hundreds of bikers and walkers to the mix!

proposed roundabout

The other concern: Parallel biking that butts right up to bike lanes. Members of the transportation advocacy group say drivers sometimes struggle with parallel parking, and adding bikers could be a dangerous situation. The project is expected to be voted on in May, that's why some transportation leaders are raising red flags now before the project advances.

Dunedin received a $100,000 grant from Forward Pinellas in 2018 to make Skinner Boulevard safer from U.S. Alt. 19 to Bass Boulevard. The plan also calls for reducing the speed limit from 35 mph or 40 mph down to 25 miles per hour. That could add an estimated 10 minutes to drivers' commutes but is expected to increase safety.

parallel parking

The Pinellas Trail crossing at Skinner Boulevard can attract up to a thousand walkers and bikers a day, especially on weekends. Conversely, nearly 12-thousand cars use Skinner Boulevard daily.