OAKLAND — Cherie LaFaver has lost so many pets because of neighborhood speeders in the last 10 years that part of her Oakland backyard has become a pet cemetery. She has watched vehicles speed up behind children — and even a neighbor in a motorized wheelchair — and then honk their horns.
A neighbor recently put up a “slow, children at play” sign, and one night around 11, she was standing on her front porch and saw a driver run over it.
LaFaver appeared before the Oakland Town Commission last week to request that some type of traffic-calming device be installed on Hull Avenue and Nixon Street. Police Chief Steve Thomas addressed LaFaver and the commission.
“Speed bumps are not as effective on residential streets as people think,” he said at the April 28 meeting.
However, he agreed it’s a valid complaint and something should be done.
A memo he earlier submitted was included with the commissioners’ agenda packet.
“While there may be some impact on speed violations if speed bumps are utilized on a residential street, there are other factors to consider as well,” he wrote.
He said this adds construction costs and continued maintenance; can cause traffic to divert to other streets, so the problem simply gets moved; can cause drivers trying to avoid the bumps to drive on the shoulder, which leads to the road breaking down and increases the risks of a person or animal on the right-of-way getting injured; and forces emergency vehicles to slow down, which results in delayed response times.
The chief said there is a shortage of speed-limit signs in this part of old Oakland, and he plans to add more to the 11 already there.
“We want to make sure that those traveling through our neighborhoods know what the speed limit is, so we will be erecting (about) 17 more signs in … the old town area of Oakland,” Thomas said.
The cost of each sign and post and the installation is about $100, according to Mike Parker, public works director.
The speed limits in the residential areas of Oakland vary from 15 mph to 25 mph. Oakland Avenue and State Road 50 have higher posted speed limits.
“A lot of strays are getting hit,” LaFaver said. “I don’t want to see a child get hurt, as well.”
IN OTHER NEWS
• The commission appointed four residents, Bob Christie, Lisa Jenkins, Sal Ramos and Liz Clark, to Oakland’s new Appearance Review Board. The town is looking for one more person, someone with professional experience in architecture, engineering, planning or construction.
• Elected officials approved a contract between the town and PDCS for building permitting and inspection services previously handled by Orange County. Services begin June 1. PDCS will retain 80% of the fees, and the town will get 20%.
Town Manager DennisFoltz said this will: increase convenience so residents don’t have to go to downtown Orlando, give the town timing control in the process and bring in some revenue for the town.
• Oakland is planning its first Celebration Among the Oaks from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Town Center. The new water tank will be dedicated, and a tree will be planted for Arbor Day. The Bloom & Grow Garden Society is donating $1,000 worth of red maples for the event.
• Mayor Kathy Stark presented proclamations to Police Chief Steve Thomas for National Law Enforcement Week (May 10 to 16) and Kimberly Gay for Municipal Clerks Week (May 3 to 9) and declared May 4 to 8 Teacher Appreciation Week in Oakland.
Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].