Commission decides to remove all crosswalks

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The Longboat Key Town Commission reached unanimous consensus that the island’s crosswalks that were recently installed need to be removed and the one planned for the north end at the base of Longboat Pass Bridge should not be built.

Mayor Jack Duncan said early in the discussion that “We are going to kill someone,” if the crosswalks remain.

Duncan added that he was very fearful of the Florida Department of Transportation crosswalk installation and did not believe the lighting was adequate for drivers to stop. He then added that, “Now we have to look at all of those ugly signs out there as well.”

Commissioner Irwin Pastor said that when someone presses the button at the crosswalk, they falsely think they are safer. He is concerned that as a commission they are talking about numerous near misses wherein drivers and pedestrians are coming precariously close.

Pastor added that if the FDOT can’t put in red stop lights, he is in favor of removing the crosswalks.

Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming told the commission that he did not think the crosswalks were a good idea on a 45 m.p.h. highway.

Duncan asked the commission how far they wanted to go with the issue.

“Should we remove them, or have them changed?”

Commissioner Phill Younger said they either need to double the size with flashing red lights, or take them all out.

Pastor said he was not in favor of any crosswalk under any circumstance, unless the speed limit was lowered to 35 m.p.h.

Younger replied that he would rather have all the crosswalks removed than have the speed limit lowered to 35 m.p.h.

“People are hardly using the crosswalks. It gives them false security and that is so much more dangerous,” said Younger.

Gans said that he was never a big fan in putting in the crosswalks in the first place and that, “Maybe because former Commissioner Lynn Larson pushed so hard for it, I went along.”

Gans added that the town did not have a problem before it installed crosswalks and he was in favor of taking them out.

Commissioner Armando Linde said that he did not know a single person in Country Club Shores that liked the crosswalks.

At this point in the meeting, Duncan asked for and received consensus with all the commissioners agreeing to eliminate all of the crosswalks. Town Manager Dave Bullock said he wanted to put it on the agenda for the next regular meeting so that the public can weigh in and the commission can hold a vote to eliminate them.

Duncan said that the goal is for Bullock to talk to FDOT about eliminating the crosswalks, lower the north end speed limit to 35 m.p.h., which the commission agreed it wanted, and extending the sidewalk on the north end from Broadway toward the bridge.

Bullock told Longboat Key News on Friday that the town can ask FDOT to remove crosswalks, but ultimately Gulf of Mexico Drive is a state road and it is up to the state agency to make any changes.


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4 Responses for “Commission decides to remove all crosswalks”

  1. ghostrider says:

    Now that you are removing the crosswalks.
    Have you considered traffic poles with funny little push buttons that change overhead lights to RED when your heart desires it to be so, allowing you to transport your tanned carcass across the median strip ? “What a great idea. ”

    I’m glad you folks are anticipating our needs as we age.

    I’m sorry.
    Did you already plan on removing all those unNECESSARY poles? .

  2. Dan Screet says:

    Amazing display of ignorance. I find it extremely humorous that crosswalks on SR 789 either to the north or the south side of Longboat Key seem to work perfectly. Obviously the issue is not with the crosswalks but rather the residents. Why not just gate off the key, have the commission take over the care of the roadway and hermit here by ourselves? “The crosswalks are stupid would rather drive than walk”. “Lowering the speed is just an inconvenience we cannot tolerate”. I say raise it so those that are obviously too blind to see signs and lights that work everywhere else in the country can crash to their death at a higher speed. “The signs should go they are an eyesore”. How would you know, you cannot see the signs with the flashing LEDs how on earth did you see the others?
    The commission so wanted these crosswalks, and also pushed for the north end sidewalk (to help get the hotel?) . So now in their infinite wisdom they want to waste more taxpayer money to have them removed. Not to mention the costs to design and install them to start with.
    I seriously believe this is just another item in a long list to prove the intellect in this country is hitting an all time low. Thank you commissioners for helping Longboat Key climb a few more rungs up the charts of idiocy and hypocrisy.
    Now pay for all this mess out of your own pockets!

  3. ML Magac says:

    Bring down the speed limit to allow LBK police to ticket more local drivers..and fight the fdot on a state funded road (my tax dollars) to remove any safety to local residents to cross streets. .next..killing peacocks..

  4. Graham Forbes says:

    So the crosswalks are to be removed
    Our Commisioners are sending a very clear message to the huge volume of traffic thundering up GMD
    LBK is not a residential area. It’s a fast road that happens to have homes on either side.
    It tells elderly people and tourists with kids they better be fast on their feet because on Longboat, fast cars, trucks and motorcycles have priority.
    Time we got Conmissioners that understand the difference between a residential area and a freeway.

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