LANE RANGER

Reader wants speed cut on NW 143rd Street


Published: Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 5:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 5:20 p.m.

Alachua County Road 241 — also known as Northwest 143rd Street — used to be a quiet country lane when Jonesville had more horses than people. But now the road has a lot more traffic, and at least one reader believes the speed limit on it should be lowered.

“In the last few years, it has become apparent that the speed limit needs to be reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph from Northwest 28th Avenue south to Northwest Ninth Road,” Bill Dunk wrote.

“With the present limit of 55 mph, many vehicles travel at 60-65 mph, and this proves too dangerous for those vehicles entering or exiting the highway with the existing traffic flow.”

It turns out the county Public Works Department is conducting a speed zoning study for CR 241 from Newberry Road in Jonesville to County Road 235 in Alachua, transportation engineering manager Brian Singleton wrote in an email.

Aspects of the study will include the design of the road, intersections, operating speeds and crash history. Singleton said that standards established by the Florida Department of Transportation are used when determining speed limits.

“These standards are based on several widely accepted principles including that most drivers behave in a reasonable and safe manner for the conditions, meaning that the majority of drivers will drive at a safe speed regardless of the speed limit,” Singleton said. “Once the Department has completed the speed zoning study for CR 241, if warranted we will adjust the speed limits to help create a uniform traffic stream. We are scheduled to complete the study early 2014.”

Meanwhile, several readers have written recently about changes to the traffic signals at Northwest 34th Street and 53rd Avenue.

This signal was addressed in a previous column several months ago, but here’s a recap from Matthew Weisman, the city of Gainesville’s traffic operations manager.

“Unfortunately, this traffic signal is so old that the wires leading to that green arrow have deteriorated to a point where it wasn’t functioning anymore,” Weisman wrote. “(FDOT) has agreed to rebuild this intersection sometime in the next fiscal year. Once this happens the green right turn arrow will be fully restored.”

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