Speed Busters: Is speed limit in Plant City subdivision too high?

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — In this week’s Speed Busters, traffic reporter Leslee Lacey visits a sleepy little community in Plant City.

Gina Hughes is the president of the Walden Lake East Property Owners Association.  “We receive on a pretty consistent basis, some concerns on our street Sandalwood Drive, about speeding vehicles.”

So, Leslee checked out the neighborhood.

She found Lane Baxter playing on a Big Wheel and asked if he felt safe in the neighborhood.  “Not at all, because cars go by too fast and I don’t know what to do. I might get run over, like Larkin’s friend.”

Larkin is Lane’s big sister. Her friend was hit by a car on Sandalwood. Her friend suffered head injuries, but recovered. Larkin told Leslee she is concerned about fast cars as well.

So, Leslee took Gina Speed Busting.

Time and time again, Leslee witnessed vehicles going under or near the speed limit of 30 mph, although they “looked” like they were speeding. After returning and Speed Busting during afternoon school times, the highest speed recorded was 34 mph.

With residents feeling unsafe, the question arises, is the speed limit too high?

“I think the speed limit should be lowered,” said Gina. “I don’t think a mother holding the hand of her four year-old can cross a street fast enough at 30 mph.”

Gina made another valid point regarding her subdivision and safety concerns. “There are just so many intersections here that have the curving around, that you just can’t see around , no matter how fast you are going.”

Leslee spoke with Plant City Traffic Engineer Michael  Schenk, who says the city follows a state guideline that residential areas have a 30 mph speed limit.

But, many Florida cities have lower limits. So, Schenk told Leslee he will research what can be done to lower limits in areas of concern. Leslee will be following up.

We have a follow-up to a previous Speed Busters story: Leslee received an update from last week’s story regarding a woman in Holiday who has two special needs children who were heading  to school with speeders on her street.

A few days after her Speed Busters story aired, Danielle Grosskopf told Leslee that Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies are now watching for speeders on her street near her children’s  school bus stop. The deputies have pulled vehicles over for speeding.

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