Pedestrian crossing signs help keep Shoppes safer for shoppers

By Susanna P. Barton
Resident Community News

The holidays are fast approaching — but the new pedestrian crossing signs in the Shoppes of Avondale caution “not so fast.”
Concerned by an increasing trend of drivers speeding through the neighborhood shopping area, representatives from the Avondale Merchants Association brought the situation to the attention of District 14 City Councilman Jim Love. Love and Avondale Merchants Association President Diane Garcia later met with representatives of the state Department of Transportation last month to discuss traffic calming solutions that would make Avondale a safer place for holiday shoppers and pedestrians.
Just a few weeks after their initial discussions and much to the delight of area community leaders, the pedestrian crossing signs were installed.
Both Love and FDOT representatives laud the project as an example of how the community can work with city and transportation officials to effect critical change quickly.
“We met with a couple of FDOT folks and they came up with some ideas,” Love said. “The signs were great solution, and we wondered how fast we could get them in — we wanted them in before the Christmas rush. It all happened pretty fast.”
Love said the FDOT was very responsive. Just a few weeks after their initial meeting, Love saw an FDOT worker from Jacobson Construction installing the poles and signs.
“He did most of it in one day,” Love said.
The effects of the sign installation are yet to be seen. But Love said if they save one life, they are worth the roughly $1,000 it cost to put them in the ground.
“I don’t want anybody to die on my watch — if it can save one life it’s worth it,” Love said. “I guarantee you if people slow down it will save property values and injuries. These signs came up just in time for the holiday season.”
Love encouraged residents to use the 630-CITY line for reporting problems or other issues around the neighborhood. He said he often walks around the community with his phone, taking pictures of problematic areas and emailing them to the 630-CITY email for attention.

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