Gulf Blvd "dangerous, deadly" and in need of a solution

Making Gulf Blvd. safer

Dangerous, deadly and drastically in need of a solution. That's how beach leaders describe Gulf Boulevard and Wednesday they will desperate try to find a solution to keep you safe.

You may have noticed this driving along Gulf Boulevard: Walkers darting out in front of your car to cross the street. On the flip side, surveyors found in 4 hours along Gulf Boulevard, 48 drivers ignored the blinking yellow crosswalk zones as walkers tried to make their way across the road.

It's become a dangerous problem along the beach communities and now Treasure Island and Madeira Beach will work together with the Rotary Club of the Gulf Beaches to step up enforcement and safety discussions with walkers and bikers.

Tampa Bay is the second deadliest place in the entire country for walkers. Gulf Boulevard is no exception, with 72 people hit and injured, and 10 killed, in the past 4 years.

Even though you'll see a ton of crosswalks dotting the road between St Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach, the numbers haven't improved enough.

Traffic officials say there are two big problems:
1. Pedestrians here along the beach are typically tourists and may not know the area. They often dart across the street-- not taking the extra few steps to get to a crosswalk.
2. Not all cars obey the flashing crosswalk lights. One of the problems walkers told us they noticed: The flashing lights on the crosswalks are yellow, instead of red. Some drivers might see that as a sign to slow down-- and not stop.

October-April is the time when the seasonal residents come down to stay along our beaches and can be the most dangerous time for pedestrians along Gulf Boulevard.

Get this: In Treasure Island, the population explodes from nearly 7,000 to 18,000-20,000 people!
That's a lot more walkers and drivers on the road.

Wednesday’s urgent safety meeting is at 3PM this afternoon at the Bilmar Beach Resort in Treasure Island. 

(© 2016 WTSP)


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