I received this email that was sent to Pam Iorio, Mary Alvarez, Kevin White, Linda Saul-sena, Rose Ferlita, Shawn Harrison, John Dingfelder, Gwen Miller, Roy Lamotte, Cynthia Miller, Thomas Snelling, Curtis Lane, Bill Doherty, Donald Skelton and Tony Garcia.
There are too many places in Seminole Heights where the sight is obstructed by grandfathered fences orby people parking on the right away. The worst offenders are car lots or car repair places. This letter is the sad result of this. This death was preventable!
1. TPD and Code need to cite every property owner who parks or has people parking on the right away.
2. Sight obstructions need to be modified, even if they were grandfathered in. Does a city ordinance need to be passed requiring these modification even for grandfathered places.
There are many places where this needs to be done. The fence for the cell tower at Giddens and Nebraska for example.
I am the president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association. Yesterday I received the following email:
Randy & Others:
Mike's sister attends HCC and lives in our mother-in-law quarters. Her best friend dropped her off last night around 9:30pm. Her friend was struck and killed as she pulled out from the intersection of Florida and Powhatan. Mike and I visited Rose Ferlita this morning who promised to immediately call the transportation department for an investigation. It is our belief that she could not see past the fence to view oncoming traffic. The intersections along Florida on both the east and west side are so dangerous! I find myself in the same situation every week. Is there anything else we can do as a neighborhood to get the fences and parked cars moved back so this does not happen again?
Diana & Mike Massimini
I went to that intersection and, facing westbound on Powhatan, tried to peer around the corner to the oncoming northbound traffic on Florida. It is impossible to do. The used car lot on the southeast corner has a fence up along the sidewalk and minivans parked up to the fence. There is no space between the sidewalk and the road. There is also a utility pole on the sidewalk.
Powhatan is not alone. Up and down Florida Avenue there are line of sight issues from the local (city) streets onto Florida Avenue (FDOT). The majority of these are the fences and cars of used car lots. Meanwhile, traffic on Florida Avenue, flowing within an inch of the sidewalk, regularly exceeds 50 mph.
Are there any transportation requirements regarding visibility? Are there zoning requirements requiring setbacks of fences? If the obstructions are grandfathered, can it not be revoked if the city can show that there are legitimate issues of safety?
I have always felt that the first priority of government was to provide a safe environment for its citizens. Flora Revesz, the woman who died, was 32 years old, an honors student in forensics at HCC, had been accepted to continue her education at USF and was engaged to be married. Her only mistake was driving through our neighborhood. How many more will have to suffer the same fate before these intersections are made safe?
I would like to invite each of you to take a stroll down Florida Avenue during rush hour, or at 9:30 at night, when this accident occurred, so you can experience first hand the conditions that residents. their guests and pedestrians face every day. Please let me know your availability.
Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association
11:08 PM Addendum - I took this photo about 8:00 P.M. tonight. This is Powhattan and Florida. I have photos of Henry, Idlewild, Jean and Pocahontas Street. However my computer iacting up and so I will have to post them tommorrow.