Oakland discusses safety crossing on busy road

The commission will vote on additional safety features on Oakland Avenue

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The Oakland Town Commission has met for several work sessions to get in front of the issues that are coming to the town, Mayor Kathy Stark said, and another one was held Tuesday, Feb. 9, before the regular Town Commission meeting. Town Manager Steve Koontz asked for direction on two projects.

Commissioners discussed a pedestrian crossing concept plan for Oakland Avenue at the entrance to Longleaf at Oakland.

Orange County put in a basic crossing, but now that the town owns and maintains Oakland Avenue, commissioners want to add a substantial crossing zone. The best crossing point is at Amon Pavilion on the West Orange Trail and Sansparilla Road which leads in and out of Longleaf, according to Public Works Director Mike Parker.

As more residents move into the neighborhood as it is developed, the upgraded crosswalk will be even more necessary because Oakland Avenue is so heavily traveled.

Parker and Koontz looked at the crosswalks on Valencia College’s West Campus and liked the design, which includes attention-grabbing strobe lights.

“We definitely need the lights,” Stark said.

Commissioner Rick Pollard agreed the typical blinking yellow lights are not enough. Commissioner Sal Ramos called it an extra layer of safety.

“I foresee more of these crossings along Oakland Avenue in the future,” Parker said.

The commission will vote on the issue when it is presented as an ordinance at an upcoming meeting.



Oakland Police Chief John Peek announced the promotion of Curt Crews from detective to corporal. Crews has been with Oakland since 2017, when he joined as a patrol officer.

Peek also recognized the retirement of K9 Chase following “many years of devoted and faithful service” and gave Sgt. Anthony Vitale, a plaque to hang on Chase’s doghouse wall.

“We really appreciation you allowing us to come up here and present our promotions and our officers to you,” Peek said to the commission. “It’s important to our agency and our officers, and they appreciate your support.”



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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