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Wakulla High School Intersection

Wakulla High School Intersection

The Florida Department of Transportation is proposing a highway realignment for Hwy 319 and 98 in front of Wakulla High School. This proposal has been in process since 2006. Statements have been made that this proposal was “slipped” through the system without transparency and without knowledge or input from the Board of County Commissioners. At previous Board meetings, we voted unanimously to ask FLDOT to accelerate the installation of a traffic light at the High School. We also voted unanimously to ask DOT to reconsider the proposed intersection design to ensure that it would improve safety at the High School. At the Board meeting last night, we were asked to support a Resolution to delay the project. A lengthy discussion was conducted and we ultimately voted 3 to 1 not to ask FLDOT to delay the project. My discussion primarily focused on making sure our citizens were aware of the timeline for this event since 2006. I have two links below. The first link starts at my comments. The second link starts at the beginning of this discussion of this issue.

Click the link below to pickup the discussion at my comments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-iiT8ga5dE&list=UUay1FhoizH6bluO0H2GD7jA#t=8899

 

Below, you will find a link to the entire discussion of this issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-iiT8ga5dE&list=UUay1FhoizH6bluO0H2GD7jA#t=5650

Intersection

7 Responses to “Wakulla High School Intersection”

  1. Layne Davis says:

    It seems to me student traffic will be even more backed up than it is now. Students are notorious for impatience. This translates into accidents. I am assuming there will be a light for the buses to get out. Therefore not much room for students.

    • ralph says:

      Thank you for your comment Ms. Davis. The proposal does include a traffic light. The light will be at the bus entrance/exit and not at the student parking lot entrance. The current configuration allows drivers to navigate the existing intersection based on their own judgement of having the right of way and sufficient room to proceed. If all drivers are experienced and careful, this can work fine, as it. A traffic light would help to eliminate judgement calls about right of way, as the light would orchestrate the flow of traffic. It would also stop the flow of traffic, at the appropriate time, on Hwy 98 to allow buses the opportunity to enter and exit.

      Ralph

  2. Leigh Key says:

    I’m not yet sure how I feel about this change. Now that school has started, I see the traffic backed up but flowing decently; of course having a deputy there helps. Other than the light, what else would this affect? I know if I’m coming form Rehwinkel and need to get into the the loading line closest to the gas station, I have a hard time getting anyone to let me in. I know in the past, it used to be a “each side take a turn system”. Also, it is difficult to turn left when leaving the school. Sometimes it’s easier to turn right then turn around to go back towards gas station. I’m unsure on my opinion on this subject. I will however, research the info you’ve listed, thanks!

    • ralph says:

      Thank you for your questions and comments Ms. Key. The loading line, closest to the gas station is precisely where the traffic light will be installed. The light would eliminate the problem you described if it is configured to orchestrate the flow of traffic from both directions, at the appropriate time. You would no longer have to site there and hope someone will give you a turn. The traffic light will also eliminate the problem of turning left when leaving the school. Through traffic on Hwy 98 will receive a red light and come to a stop, allowing you to make a left turn. Eliminating the need for people to U-turn or turn around in a business parking lot, will improve safety. You brought up excellent “real world” problems that could be solved. Thank you!

      Ralph

    • ralph says:

      Ms. Key, you asked what else it will affect. Right now, students cross Hwy 98 anyplace they want. I’ve heard people say, “That could be stopped if Deputies would write a few tickets for jay walking.” I discussed this with the Sheriff and Under Sheriff. They are unable to write jay walking tickets because there is a designated crossing area. I spoke to DOT about installing a cross walk now, regardless of whether or not the intersection is changed. According to DOT, they are not allowed to install a cross walk unless it is adjacent to an intersection. This problem will be eliminated with the proposed change.

  3. Kathleen Lamarche says:

    Thanks for sharing this. We believe the project at WHS intersection should go forward. One man should not be able to subvert the process nor do an “end around” to achieve his own political ends. Again, thanks Commissioner Thomas for putting this out for all of Wakulla to view.

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