The Federal Department of Transportation is listening to concerned citizens in Cape Canaveral and lower speed limits in some areas are finally becoming a reality. This is a victory and a step in the right direction, but some feel that more change needs to happen for the safety of residents and pedestrians. Read the Florida Today article below for more insight into Cape Canaveral’s predicament.
CAPE CANAVERAL — After decades of asking for a lower speed limit, Cape Canaveral is finally getting what it wanted – even though it’s not as low as city officials had asked for.
Since at least the 1980s, city officials have asked the Florida Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit on its two-mile section of State Road A1A from 45 to 35 mph. FDOT’s response has historically been that guidelines they follow did not justify a change — until now.
The state now says it will lower the speed limit on parts of the stretch to 40 mph.
City officials said it should be the same as Cocoa Beach, their southern neighbor, which has a speed limit of 35 mph on the entire stretch of A1A through the city. They argued that it would make it safer and easier for residents and visitors.
“We’re glad to get 40 mph,” Mayor Bob Hoog said. “Anything is better, but we still want 35. I’m sure the citizens would still want to see 35.”
Lee Vicidomini, a retired teacher who with her husband, Al, has lived in Cape Canaveral since 1989, said she has seen an increase in the traffic congestion at times when cruise ships arrive at Port Canaveral. She said motorists often are not able to travel at 40 mph because of heavy traffic.
“I don’t think it’s enough, but at least they are willing to listen to us,” she said. “Some is better than none.”
Hoog said officials wanted the limit changed on the entire stretch of A1A through the city. The speed limits goes from 60 to 45 mph just before entering the city from the north.
He said he’s afraid motorists are not paying attention to the signs.
“They are coming over that bridge going too fast,” he said. “We’re having problems on the northern end.”
FDOT notified Cape Canaveral City Manager David Green that the speed limit will be lowered to 40 mph on a section of the roadway from Barlow Avenue to just north of Columbia Drive. The 45 mph speed limit will remain from Columbia to just south of George King Boulevard. The FDOT also said the change is being made in accordance with federal standards.
“They have evolved from recommendations determined from an approved engineering study and report,” the letter states.
The rule change will become effective no sooner than 14 days from the date of the notice, which was Jan. 13.
City officials said they have not yet been notified when the signs would be changed.
Hoog said he is not giving up on getting the speed limit to 35.
“We’ll just keep working at it,” he said. “Maybe some day we’ll get it.”
By Norman Moody
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