NewsRegion North PinellasLargo


Neighbors: 'Reckless and wild' drivers making Largo Road into drag strip

Largo neighbors say road resembles a drag strip
Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 18:30:40-05

“Reckless and wild," neighbors along Ridge Road in Largo say that’s the only way to describe the outrageous speeders zipping down their streets. 

Neighbors along Ridge Road SW say it’s hard to tell whether they live along a residential street or a drag strip. 

“You hear this whoosh then see a flash of red, white or whatever color the car was!," Kelly Nolen explained.

She and Rob Lotze say it happens all the time.

“They were side by side and they were flying. You could tell they were racing. It was the middle of the day. 3 in the afternoon," Lotze exclaimed.

It’s easy to see why speeding is a problem along Ridge Road SW. The road is wide and smooth and there are 8 long blocks without a single stop sign….or speed limit sign!

"They’ll start at one end and give it all they've got until they reach the other stop sign," Tom Morris. 

Largo Police have clocked the speeding problem too, finding initially most drivers clocked in at 37 miles per hour, far above the speed limit. Increased enforcement has helped that number fall to 36 miles per hour in one direction and 32 miles per hour in the other.

Largo leaders say if speed tests show drivers continue to speed, they could end up putting Ridge Road on a "diet", meaning they add medians or bike lanes to make the road skinnier. It’s a way to trick drivers into letting up on the gas because skinnier lanes encourage drivers to go slower. 

RELATED: St. Pete is putting city streets on a 'road diet'

It’s working wonders in St. Pete, where city leaders have put dozens of roads on “diets” to slow down cars. ABC Action News watched as one driver went from a whopping 39 miles per hour down to 25 as they approached the "road diet" median and saw the speed reader.

Largo homeowners are skeptical about any plans to make their road lanes thinner, but say they’ll take any help they can get.

"Whether its going to take speed bumps, 4-way stops, something has to be done because nothing has worked and I’ve lived here over 30 years,” explained Morris.

“Someone is going to get hit eventually. Someone’s going to get hurt," added Lotze. 

We asked Largo leaders about the possibility of adding 4-ways stop signs along Ridge Road SW but they tell us that would likely create "a jack rabbit situation" with speed and noise going up and impacting nearby residents. They tell us they will continue random police enforcement along the road for the time being. 

Largo is also looking at putting two other major roads on a "diet," Trotter Road and Rosery Road adding both medians and bike lanes to make those roads skinnier, too.