Palma Ceia residents and Roosevelt Elementary School parents who must cross Bay to Bay to reach the school share their thoughts:
Monica O’Flanagan, Palma Ceia resident and Roosevelt Elementary parent:
“We have been walking to Roosevelt with two of our children for 8 years now. We have witnessed countless close calls between pedestrians and cars, accidents and discourteous driving at the intersection of Bay to Bay and Concordia. It is still shocking to me that there are no safety precautions in place to protect elementary-aged children walking to school. Walking to school provides exercise to students (and parents!), reduces traffic congestion through our neighborhoods, encourages community interaction and is a small step in reducing our carbon footprint. This should be encouraged and our children should feel safe.”
Monica Chandler, Palma Ceia resident and Roosevelt Elementary parent:
“I have experienced countless incidents where cars run the red light, turn quickly off Bay to Bay without yielding, or simply don’t pay attention to the pedestrian traffic at that corner. It has been enough to cause me to not walk my children to school. [The Concordia and Bay to Bay] corner is the safest light to cross Bay to Bay, yet it is still not safe.”
Nicki Rawlings, Roosevelt Elementary parent:
“[My daughter] attends Roosevelt Elementary IPEEPS (ESE-Special Education) program. We walk daily from our home on Bayshore Blvd to the school via Macdill to Bay to Bay to Ferdinand. A direct route to the school is not more readily available because of the railroad tracks and Leroy Selmon Crosstown Expressway. The 15-minute walk entails crossing Macdill and crossing the exit ramp from the Crosstown as it approaches Bay to Bay. Because drivers are allowed to ‘yield’ if they are making a right hand turn and drivers are allowed to exit the expressway at high speeds, often times, despite the pedestrian signal in my favor, I am met by a speeding vehicle making the curve without realization that they need to stop for persons in the crosswalk. Additionally, often times drivers block the pedestrian crosswalk trying to merge into traffic on Bay to Bay.”
Lori Jennis, Palma Ceia resident and Roosevelt Elementary parent:
“We have walked our children to Roosevelt Elementary for the past six years and have often witnessed near-miss accidents involving pedestrians, car-to-car collisions that could cause secondary impacts to pedestrians, and just plain ignorant drivers unaware that it is the only designated school crossing point on Bay to Bay Blvd.
"The Concordia – Bay to Bay intersection is a multiple threat collision point as it currently exists. There are poorly marked crosswalks, limited pedestrian crossing signals, and no crossing guards or Slow Motor Vehicle Speed Limits during school hours. I am amazed to see crossing guards, speed restrictions, flashing beacons, and other high visibility deterrents when traveling through other school crossing zones on mere two-lane city roads.
“Besides the imminent threat of a pedestrian or child’s death, what will it take to improve this major school crosswalk to national DOT/FHWA standards?