Strange objects on traffic lights identified

Traffic-monitoring camera at Archer Road and 34th Street. (Courtesy of Phil Mann)

Published: Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 9:09 p.m.

Esther Nordlie wrote in regarding the unusual objects that are attached to many traffic lights around town, particularly at major intersections.

“At many intersections, I have noticed a unique ‘thing' which is attached to the structures that hold the overhead traffic lights,” she said in an email. “They are white, usually arch up and have what looks like a light hanging from them.”

Phil Mann, the city of Gainesville's traffic operations manager, said the fixtures that Nordlie described are likely cameras used by the city to monitor traffic.

“They are white on a ‘candy cane' styled arm with a white dome that looks like a street light,” Mann said. “Daytona Beach actually had someone call once regarding a street light that wasn't working at night and it was actually one of their traffic cameras.”

Mann sent a photo of the traffic cameras from Archer Road and 34th Street to help readers identify the traffic cameras.

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Mann also had an answer for Kate Walker, who wrote in about Northwest First Avenue just west of Northwest 13th Street. It used to have a city street sign and a sign not allowing left turns onto First Avenue.

Several buildings that existed on the corner of 13th between University and Northwest First were demolished for the planned construction of University Corners, which was going to stretch from University north to Second Avenue but was never built.

After the demolition, the road was signed as a private street.

“Can you shed some light on this? Was the city paid compensation for making a public road (public property) into private property?” she wrote. “Is it indeed private property or is some kind of ‘land grab' in progress? I understand there are repercussions for the right-of-way if no one challenges a prohibition to pass, so I would hate for the city to lose this land and the right-of-way through inattention.”

Mann said the city abandoned the right-of-way as part of the development plan and worked with the developer to make sure the no-trespassing/tow signs were installed after people who were towed when parking on the street called the city to complain.

“They put a bunch of signs up saying it is a private road and their trespass/tow signs,” he said.

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