New Light Signal Proposed at Riverside and Margaret

New Light Signal Proposed at Riverside and Margaret

In February, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) held a public meeting to discuss its SR 211 (from San Juan Avenue to I-95) Resurfacing Project and collect community feedback on the proposed components of the project.

As it stands currently, the project plans include milling and resurfacing of SR 211 (Riverside Avenue) as well as “bike lanes, shared use lane markings, sidewalk upgrades, and signage, signal and lighting updates.”

The proposed signal updates include replacing a mast arm signal at the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Margaret Street, which currently stands on the southeast corner near an entrance to Memorial Park, with a new single mast arm signal on the northeast corner across from the park entrance, “extending southwest over the intersection,” wrote FDOT Community Outreach Specialist Nathan Pick in an e-mail.

That light signal had been replaced in summer 2021 as part of a previous project, which included “installation of a new signal controller, high visibility crosswalks, and mast arms to replace the existing concrete poles and span wire” at a cost of $448,482.75.

“FDOT received community concerns about the new location of the signal supports (impacting the entrance to Memorial Park),” wrote Pick. “Based on this community feedback and with the opportunity to make signal adjustments with the upcoming resurfacing project; FDOT decided to replace the signal supports to eliminate the park entrance impacts.”

Riverside resident Spencer Fletcher raised concerns over this particular component of the proposed SR 211 project at the Feb. 15 meeting, given the signal at that intersection had so recently been replaced.

“I think first and foremost, it’s just a huge waste of taxpayer money to just change the signal out,” he later commented. “It was a significant upgrade to change the light signal out from the original string pole that was there…It’s pretty concerning for me just because that money could have been utilized for another signal, which there are hundreds in the city that FDOT is responsible for that need to be upgraded, but instead we’re pushing these funds to an affluent area, a nice area when there’s signals less than a mile away that are decrepit and not in very good shape and need to be replaced.”

Pick did emphasize in his e-mail that the SR211 resurfacing project is in its early planning stages and nothing is finalized as FDOT is still soliciting community feedback regarding the project’s proposed components.

“This feedback continues to be considered and evaluated by the project team,” he added.

The Resident reached out to Memorial Park Association to see if it had received community complaints/feedback regarding the light signal in question, but did not receive a response to inquiries at press time.

The cost of the SR211 resurfacing project is currently estimated at $10.1 million, with Pick adding, “The mast arm relocation should be viewed in the context of the entire estimate as there is scalable value in addressing the improvement during a larger project.”

By Michele Leivas
Resident Community News

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