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Hillsborough County Commission keeps traffic-control devices in Original Carrollwood

TAMPA — Like it or not, most speed humps in Original Carrollwood are there to stay.

Over several residents' objections, Hillsborough County commissioners Wednesday scaled back the number of raised intersections and speed humps or cushions planned for the neighborhood.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner voted against the compromise, saying an arbitrator should be brought in to hash out differences that bitterly divide the neighborhood. Commissioner Jim Norman was not present for the vote.

Dozens of the devices are already in place, and most will stay. A half-dozen raised intersections will still be installed as planned. Another half-dozen will not be. A few speed humps or cushions will be removed or moved.

Commissioners also told their fire rescue chief to make sure the devices don't slow down rescue vehicles too much. County officials said they would put a space in the middle of the speed cushions and make their slopes longer and more gradual so fire engines won't have to slow down as much.

That didn't go far enough for opponents, who want many of the humps removed.

"We're really concerned that not enough effort was made to reduce EMS response times," said Brian Thometz, who lives on Carrollwood Drive.

The plan approved Wednesday is different than the approach commissioners have taken in Carrollwood Village.

There, the county plans to hold one more big public meeting to hear all sides on traffic calming. Then it will ask an independent arbitrator to figure out what measures that neighborhood needs.

On Wednesday, Commission Chairman Ken Hagan apologized to Carrollwood residents without placing blame on either county staff or commissioners who have shaped the decisions along the way.

"This process has been flawed from the very beginning," he said. "Mistakes have been made every step of the way."

Hillsborough County Commission keeps traffic-control devices in Original Carrollwood 05/20/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 11:55pm]
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