Is Speeding a Problem in Gulfport?

Does Gulfport need to address speeding in residential neighborhoods? Tell city leaders what you think at the Council Workshop on Thursday.

Neighbors on 7th Ave S. have spent years telling city leaders about excessive speeding on their block. Carolyn Huffer says she routinely sees drivers accelerate up to 40 and 50 mph between 58th St. S. and 64th St. S.

"65 to 75 percent of the cars are through traffic," Huffer told Patch in a previous story.

Huffer, joined with four neighbors from 7th Ave S. pleaded for help during the Oct. 16 Tuesday night City Council Meeting. It wasn't the first time Huffer asked for action. Although she lives on the St. Pete side of the street, she's been fighting for a solution for the past five years, even addressing previous Gulfport councilors. Since then, she says the city has decreased the speed limit from 30 to 25 mph and added small reflectors on the streets.

Once again, councilors will address the issue of speeding and high traffic volumes at the City Council Workshop on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Gulfport City Hall, 2401 53rd St. S. (Note: Workshops are usually held at 3:30 p.m.; this meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.)

City leaders will discuss whether or not to move forward with a traffic calming program which could include a $12,000 formal study or an informal study conducted by the Gulfport Police Department.

According to the agenda packet for Thursday:

"A full traffic calming study would cost about $12,000 including setting the study limits, measuring daily traffic, analyzing the speed and volume, studying the neighborhood, preparing the petitions, performing the public meetings, designating the affected area, providing a list of current property owners, reviewing the signatures, developing the appropriate solutions, preparing drawings for the devices, including signage and pavement markings."

Also included in the agenda are cost estimates for speed cushions.

"Installing the devices would cost about $4,000 for two pre-fabricated speed cushions and signage installed by City personnel. Other measures would cost more such as to over $100,000 for extensive re-alignment of streets and intersections."

Carolyn Huffer and her neighbors agree something needs to be done to protect residents and other drivers.

"We have many, many more children," Huffer said about her neighborhood.

"It's very, very dangerous," Shirley Calamari told Patch. Calamari and her husband have lived on the St. Pete side of the street for the past 12 years.

"You don't feel it until you get in the shoes of the people who live there," Val Daskalov, Gulfport resident since 2006, said.

Council member Jennifer Salmon has also expressed concerns about speeding in town and encourages residents to attend the workshop and have their voices heard.

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CJ December 12, 2012 at 06:45 PM
The main speeding problem I see is the speeding that is done from and to the obvious drug houses in the general area. I am surprised the city does not just go ahead and build parking lots next to their houses for them. Other than that, the street bums seem to be the safest drivers around.
Jane McGehee December 13, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Speeding on Beach Boulevard is also rampant. Humps on some of our through streets would do a great deal to help with the problem.
Valerie Rosenberg December 13, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I don't know of any "drug houses" in the area but I do see a major problem after the high school lets out and late at night when the cars come flying down 7th ave south. They act like it is a drag strip or something and they are clearly doing well over the posted 25 mph speed limit and you can even hear them as they accelerate. Not to mention that there is a school located at the corner of 7th ave south & 60th street, grant it the school is on st pete side, but shouldn't there be some form of traffic control just because the school is there?
CJ December 13, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Hard to believe you disagree there's no drug houses in the area. I was being candid, but frankly that's naive. They may not be the cause of the speeding problems this article was mainly referring to...but then again, they certainly are a source of plenty of dangerous traffic issues that include and go beyond speeding. You are right, though, about those locations you mentioned. When I first moved here I quickly detested the speed bumps. I have never lived anywhere that used them much, and after a couple of them caught me off guard and I hit them at normal speeds...it did not take me long to despise them...lol. They can really throw you for a loop, and it makes you cringe thinking about how they may damage your cars front end. Now that I am settled in and used to them and see the speeding issues in the area, I now appreciate them. They sure do a good job at slowing people down. I guess part of the problem is you can't use them ''everywhere'' or they would slow down Firetrucks, Police Cars, Ambulances, etc. The speeders around here seem to know which roads don't have the speedbumps and they drive especially fast on them. The thing I have noticed is that often when roads around here have speeders, it's not just people going over the limit by 5-15 mph. You have people racing down these streets at Interstate speeds. I see this very often, sometimes daily. To fit in with my comment, it seems to me often these are the same people who visit the drug houses you say are not here.


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