Gadsden County’s Traffic Safety Team (CTST) met last Wednesday to discuss the potential of getting sidewalks built to assist children getting safely to school after Havana Middle and Havana Elementary schools are combined.
“Our main concern in Havana is sidewalks to provide safe access to school from Havana Heights and other residential areas,” said Police Chief Tracy Smith.
The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Safe Routes to Schools project fell by the wayside and is now under the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA), Smith said.
CTST had previously asked engineering company Preble-Rish to identify setback requirements for sidewalks and draft a proposed route. That route is not viable, said Chief Smith, because several property owners were not willing to give rights-of-way, and others did not have enough land for the sidewalks to be built.
“We want this to be made a priority for CRTPA funding,” he said about the project that will be done in phases.
Preble-Rish will make a cost estimate for the first phase.
“People want kids safe and they may be able to get the project funded,” said Smith.
Part of the proposed route will require children to cross Iron Bridge Road, said CTST members. Coastal Plywood has already committed to providing rights-of-way along the proposed route, said attendees, and a road crossing with flashing lights is also proposed.
CTST members also discussed the potential for getting a traffic light installed at the Concord Road crossing of Fairbanks Ferry Road from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Representatives said a traffic count was done by FDOT and an analysis of the data didn’t reflect a need for a light. Further studies will be done relative to the number of serious crashes that occur at the intersection, and members said the county could also address installation of a traffic light.
Preble-Rish reps said a traffic light can cost upwards of $40,000 to $50,000.