Lane Ranger

Raise speed limit on NW 53rd Ave., reader says


Published: Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.

An email from a reader has prompted Alachua County to study speed limits on Northwest 53rd Avenue.

Georgia McDaniel wrote that the speed limit is 55 mph from the red light on N. Main Street east to Waldo Road. The speed limit from Main Street west to U.S. 441 is 45 mph.

"I travel this road twice a day going to and from work. I think the speed limit should be 55 mph instead of 45 mph," McDaniel said. "There are very few businesses on this stretch of road."

The road is under the jurisdiction of Alachua County. Chris Zeigler, senior engineering technician for the public works department, said the speed limits will be studied.

"We will study the road to determine if a change in the speed limit is warranted," Zeigler responded. "Due to the upcoming holidays we won't be able to perform the study until the second half of January at the earliest."

Meanwhile, Adrian Dovell wrote with a concern about the traffic signal at Northwest 13th Street and 16th Avenue.

"When you are eastbound on 16th Avenue and trying to turn left (north) onto 13th Street, there is usually a wait of two cycles of the light, particularly during heavy traffic hours," Dovell said. "There needs to be more time allotted for cars to make that left turn."

Matthew S. Weisman, city of Gainesville's traffic management operations engineer, responded that many Gainesville roads are over capacity at peak times. That intersection if particularly crowded because of commuter traffic to the University of Florida and Gainesville High School.

"If we reduce the green time on … 13th Street., we would have cycles leaving residual queue. After several cycles of residual queue, you get a compounded backup similar to what we see on Archer Road in the afternoon heading westbound at 34th Street.," Weisman said. "These residuals are much less on Northwest 16th Avenue. Therefore, the signal is timed for optimum traffic throughput. During all other times of day and night, there is usually ample green time for all movements at this intersection. It's just when driving during these high traffic times we can't always service every vehicle in one cycle."

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