Your Opinion: Is Florida Avenue Safe?

After a recent fatal accident, Seminole Heights residents are questioning the safety of one of the main thoroughfares in their neighborhood. What do you think? Post a comment and vote in our poll.

Is Florida Avenue safe? Share your opinion in the comments section below and vote in our poll.

Florida Avenue is home to automotive dealers and repair shops, motels and local eateries in Seminole Heights. But it's also been the site of several serious auto accidents over the years, including some fatal.

After at the intersection of Florida Avenue and Lambright Street, local residents along the roadway, where traffic often travels upwards of 50 miles per hour.

A recent story on Patch attracted several comments from people in the Seminole Heights area and beyond. One resident, , who lives close to where the recent incident occurred had this to say:

"I live on North St., just one block south of Lambright where Alex Johnson died last month. The day of the accident, my neighbors and I were sad and shaken. We didn't know Alex, but we could have been her... by that I mean, we all have made the same left turn onto Florida Ave. In fact, we used to go up to Lambright to turn since North's blind spot is worse & the light at Hanna is so long. Never again. I won't ever make a left onto Florida Ave at an intersection without a light until the city addresses the obvious dangers. May Alex Johnson's death be the last tragedy on that part of Florida Ave and may peace be with her family."

One local business owner has noticed a trend along the avenue and pointed out another dangerous spot along one of the highway. That reader, , had this to say:

"Sunny Day Auto Sales I believe it's called at the corner of Jean and Florida is just as bad. These chain link fences need to come down. They make the street look like like an eyesore and they cause issues with traffic...I'm a dealer, but you won't see those fences on my property yet I've never had a problem with just 3 foot high post and chains."

Some say they feel ignored by the city after years of complaints about Florida Avenue intersections have apparently fallen on deaf ears. One poster, , voiced her irritation at the matter:

"Should something be done about this...yes. Will the city do something about this...NO. It's ridiculous how Seminole Heights is the "red headed stepchild" of tampa. Has anyone traveled sligh ave lately. You get throw all over because it has so many pot holes and they won't repave it just patch it."

is new to the area. After Johnson's death, she says she has changed her driving plan when she leaves the house:

"We just moved in the area the beginning of the year. I use to use that intersection several times a week. Since that accident I use the light at Hanna. I feel the wait is worth it. It would be nice however to have that light on a timer."

The Seminole Heights Patch Facebook page has attracted a few comments as well. Rebecca Reuben echoed the comments of previous posters with a story of her own:

"Yes! Something should definitely be done. There are too many car lots with fences or posts just off the sidewalk which make it too hard to see if cars are coming. You have to inch out too far in order to see. I've almost been hit turning onto Florida from W. Idlewild since that ABC Auto put those terrible posts up. It's dangerous and shouldn't be allowed."

So what's your opinion?

Meilla Le'nor June 08, 2012 at 12:39 PM
No. I do not think Florida Avenue is safe.I was struck on my bike while riding on the side walk during the day by an SUV. There was not a bike lane and I was following the rules of the road.They admitted to not seeing me.Three years and 3 surgeries later. I am still recovering mentally and physically. Something needs to be done to make Florida Avenue safer. The further south you go on that street. The more dangerous it gets.They are not safe for people in wheel chairs.
Sharmila Duncan June 08, 2012 at 01:03 PM
There are too many corners where fences or shrubbery create a blind spot. Moving fences further back or trimming down bushes takes minimal effort and should be done asap. And it's not just on Florida either. The corner of Virginia and Highland is the same way. Dangerous for cars, pedestrians and cyclists!! I'm surprised it's not illegal.
A Modern Line June 08, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I own a business on the corner of North St. and Florida and would never consider using my front door as an entrance. There is only a small strip of sidewalk between the street and the door. As far as rush hour goes, 50 is probably the average speed with some vehicles blowing past at 60 or better! If I have to go south on Florida I usually go out the back way and down to Hanna. I too would rather wait at the light than chance getting t-boned by someone flying north on Florida.
Jackye Mathews June 08, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Like someone else said, too many fences you can't see around the corner to know if there's any traffic coming!
Mark (marty) Turner June 08, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Florida like many of Tampa's streets are troubled by old right of ways. In other words the street has gotten to big for its britches. South of where Florida turns into a one way North a feeds South bound traffic to Highland/Tampa the traffic congestion is lessened but the speed has gotten out of hand with little enforcement of the speed laws. Most Tampa and Hillsborough cops speed when given the opportunity setting a terrible example to the students at Hillsborough High. State Law mandates a bicycle lane on both one ways since an alteration has occurred since the law was enacted, but again North of the split there is just not enough right of way to make the lane. Much of the problem of businesses blocking the view of oncoming traffic is that the road has been stretched to its limit of width. To change that is to eliminate long standing structures and businesses condeming them to the wrecking ball for the sake of traffic. Does anyone really want to make this trade off?
Jeremy June 09, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Florida Ave needs a "lane diet". Restripe it to one thru lane per direction. It's what was done a few years ago on Nebraska Ave south of Hillsborough Ave a few years ago. It looks good and is much safer for drivers and pedestrians.
Sue June 09, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Florida Ave needs less car lots which attract speeders testing cars through our neighborhoods, Florida Ave needs a complete facelift, buildings are old and ugly and built smack on the sidewalk with no green space at all. Florida Ave could be a one way, then it would have space for bike lanes, walkers and green space or one lane similar to Nebraska. Too many car lots, not enough true neighborhood businesses!


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