Traffic analysis does not justify speed limit change at Port Richey | New


PORT RICHEY – Speeding on Old Post Road and Bay Boulevard remains a concern among residents and some city council members, but a recent traffic survey has not validated the speed limit reductions.

City Manager John Dudte and Port Richey Police Chief Cyrus Robinson presented the study results at the regular council meeting on May 25. The process took about a month in total and used newly acquired equipment that measured the number and speed of traffic at four locations along Old Post Road.

Old Post Road is a more than one-and-a-half mile stretch of north-south road west of US Highway 19. It runs from its southern intersection with Cotee Avenue in the Riverside Entertainment District. water from Cotee River Landing to its dead end north of Koons Road and the site of Brasher Park.

The issue of speeding along the Old Post was brought to council’s attention in early March, primarily by city councilors William Dittmer and Tom Kinsella. City councilors forwarded complaints received by other city residents to the board of directors, and Bay Boulevard, which crosses Old Post, has also received attention.

Since the first discussions in March, the Port Richey police department has acquired new equipment to monitor and record traffic wherever the devices are placed. Officers set up the data analysis equipment at four points – two along Old Post and two along Bay Boulevard. The process began on March 26 and ended on April 27 and data was collected at each location for periods of approximately six days.

According to Robinson, the amount of speeding along Old Post Road and Bay Boulevard – both with posted speed limits of 30 mph – “is well below standard in order to change the speed limit, to lower it or for that matter install speed bumps.

While researching the issue, Dudte found that federal and state guidelines recommend addressing speed limits or taking other response actions when at least 20% of monitored traffic is going too fast. In the case of Port Richey, this speeding rate along Old Post Road and Bay Boulevard was between 1 and 2%.

The police department collected data along Old Post at one point north of Bay Boulevard and another near the intersection with Miles Boulevard, south of Bay. A total of 18,250 vehicles were registered, with average speeds of 29 mph north of Bay and 27 mph on Miles Boulevard. A total of 267 vehicles were traveling at speeds justifying an enforceable offense.

Data collection points along Bay Boulevard were located at Miller Bayou Drive, west of Old Post, and near the Pelican Bay Apartments, east of Old Post. On this road with more traffic, a total of 39,452 vehicles were recorded and the average speeds were respectively 31 mph and 30 mph. Of the nearly 40,000 vehicles, 648 could have received an enforceable speeding ticket.

“I was really happy to see the numbers when they came to see the very low percentages of enforceable speeding offenses,” said Mayor Scott Tremblay. “It’s actually a good thing for the city.

Despite the results, some council members and residents are not yet ready to abandon the case.

“This study was done over a six-day period (at each location),” Kinsella said. “Again, many residents have appeared at these meetings with their concerns. Personally, I would like this study to continue for a full month … to get a full picture of what’s going on rather than six days here and there.

Tremblay and Councilor Todd Maklary expressed their approval of Kinsella’s suggestion and Dudte said he would speak with Chief Robinson to develop a plan.

“I think we owe the citizens the respect which we need to dig a little deeper into,” Kinsella said.

While statistics don’t indicate widespread speeding, every location has recorded instances of speeding, especially on Old Post. The highest speed recorded at the site north of Bay Boulevard was 60 mph. South of the bay, that high mark was 71 mph, 41 km above the posted limit.

The highest speeds recorded along the two Bay Boulevard locations were 53 mph and 59 mph.

While Dudte did not recommend lowering the speed limit or installing a speed bump, he said the city may consider other traffic calming strategies. This could involve changing the way the roads are marked or planting trees along the shoulders to make the roads appear narrower to motorists. Studies have shown that this visual perception can cause motorists to slow down, Dudte said, instead of accelerating on wider stretches.

Old Post Road and Bay Boulevard are the first of many roads in Port Richey to be analyzed and assessed, Robinson told the council. “We’re on our third additional route with the device, so we’re trying to get a head start and see what our traffic speed issues, if any, are in the city. “

Washington Street, a road that intersects US 19 south of Ridge Road in Port Richey and heads south to New Port Richey, has been analyzed and required a moderate level of enforcement, Robinson said. At the time of last Tuesday’s meeting, the police department was in its third week of enforcement along Washington Street.

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