Trail and Sidewalk PlanningThere have been questions asked recently about the new trail on the east side of North Wailes Drive. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee recommended the connection between the new Trailway to Spook Hill Elementary School to improve safety for school children. Using asphalt allowed for a wider path at a lower cost than the use of concrete. It also opened up the paved area for easier travel for bicyclists. The east side of the street was chosen since it keeps pedestrians from having to cross a number of streets and provides a much safer path for the elementary school students.
The next phase of this work will include painting in a crosswalk, the installation of signage, and the construction of a concrete sidewalk on school property. Additional sections of sidewalks are planned along the west side of North Wailes Dr. south of the Trailway to make a connection down to Lakeshore Drive.
SR 60 East: Lighting and MediansCity staff approached FDOT several years ago to inquire about their ability to improve street lighting on State Road 60 from 11th St to Buck Moore Road. FDOT completed that work months ago. City staff then approached FDOT about the feasibility of continuing the grass median from 11th St to the east. FDOT staff prepared a conceptual plan that is on display in the lobby of city hall. The City Commission will be asked to endorse their plan, and FDOT staff will then hold an open house to review and explain the plan to affected property owners and interested citizens.
At present this stretch of State Road 60 has an open turn lane. Motorists traveling either east or west can pull into the lane and then turn left. Unfortunately, some drivers also use this lane as an “acceleration” lane. If they want to turn left from a street, say 12th Street for example, but traffic is heavy going in that direction, drivers sometimes pull into the center lane and drive there until traffic opens up and they can move over. This is a very dangerous move.
FDOT has federal safety funds that can be used for this sort of project. The conceptual plan shows that there will be full openings at some intersections, and “directed” turns (which only allow cars to turn a certain direction) at other locations. Landscaping will be provided to enhance this area and make a very nice entryway into town from east SR 60. The median will end west of Capps Road.
Park Planning, TreesThe Parks and Community Appearance Board has been busy. The board recently heard a presentation from an arborist regarding trees in Lake Wailes Park, including the type of trees and their condition. One of the arborist’s recommendations will involve ways to relieve the stress of some large trees caused by mowing grass beneath the trees. These areas may need to be mulched.
City staff is also researching available properties in the northern areas of the city for the building of a city park. It is anticipated that recreation impact fee funds, as well as any available grant funds, would be used for this purpose.
Utility System Improvements WorkshopEvery year the City Commission approves a plan that lists the capital improvements that will be needed for the next year. The plan recently adopted contains financing and expenditures for the first phase of work for the wastewater treatment plant. This work includes maintenance work for the plant, which is now twenty years old, as well as other improvements and a small expansion of capacity. There are also plans to extend a water line to connect to the new airport system and go further west on SR 60. It is anticipated that these topics will be discussed at an upcoming City Commission workshop.