FDOT wants public input on changes to Alt. US 19 to make the road safer for pedestrians and drivers

Posted at 3:40 AM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 06:36:47-04

Change can be tough. That is why the Florida Department of Transportation is asking the public for help to figure out how to make Alternate US 19 in Pinellas County safer.

Daniel Sachs, a Seminole Boulevard

business owner, knows Alternate US 19 well. His company is separated from the road by just a small parking lot. He says Alt 19 is very dangerous.

"I have seen cars come off the edge of the road up onto the sidewalk and that's only 30 feet away from the front of the store. That's very concerning," said Sachs, owner of House, Shades, & Lamps in Largo.

Sachs sees rear-end crashes outside the front window a few times a week. FDOT crash data says that is the most common type of crash it sees on Alt 19. Most of the crashes happen during the day. Over the past five years, 95 people walking and 71 people riding a bike have been hit.

Signs prohibiting people from walking across the street and encouraging them to use the nearest crosswalk are not helping either. Two men guys crossed in front of Sach's business without thinking twice.

"They don't look at the signs or they don't care," he said. "Basically, I just think they don't care."

When it comes to cars,

over the past five years 158 accidents were serious and 25 were fatal. It is one reason FDOT believe something must change. The agency wants the public to help make the list.

You can get involved right now from home. There is an interactive map allowing you to plug in dangerous areas or issues you have with Alt. 19. FDOT plans on using the data collected when coming up with a plan.

You can also voice your concerns in person at one of the many public meetings FDOT is holding between June 6 and 8.
For times and locations of the public meetings, click here