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Improvements to Hollingsworth Road Taking Place Targeting Student Safety

LAKELAND, FL (December 15, 2017) – The City of Lakeland’s Traffic, Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Team recently had a meeting to review strategies to improve safety along Hollingsworth Road as students approach Lakeland High School and Harrison School for the Arts. The City of Lakeland’s Traffic Operations, Community Development, Engineering and Police Department along with representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation attended the meeting. The group reviewed available options to improve pedestrian safety including reduced speed limits, enhanced street lighting, new 15 MPH reduced speed school zone with flashing beacons and improved crosswalk signage.

Angelo Rao, Manager of Traffic Operations said, “We will be implementing a number of improvements over the next few months with some of the quicker enhancements taking place over the Polk County School Board’s holiday break.” He added, “The goal is to have the reduced 15 MPH speed school zone signage and beacons operating when public schools resume on Thursday, January 4th.”

The City of Lakeland’s Traffic, Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Team have implemented or will be implementing the following public safety enhancements along Hollingsworth Road.

  1. HOLLINGSWORTH ROAD POSTED SPEED LIMIT: Traffic Operations has replaced 35-MPH speed limit signs along the Hollingsworth Road corridor with new 30-MPH signs (and an additional northbound sign installed just north of the round-about). The reduced 30-MPH speed limit is justified based on the residential character of this roadway with numerous driveways, the presence of three (3) schools and the uncontrolled pedestrian crossings adjacent to both high schools. 
  2. ENHANCED STREET LIGHTING: Lakeland Electric has conducted a field inspection along the corridor and will upgrade the two crosswalk roadway light fixtures at Cumberland Street and Palmetto Street with brighter LED fixtures. In conjunction with these enhancements, Lakeland Electric will upgrade the streetscape lights along Hollingsworth Road with new LED lights. This work is anticipated to be completed during the first quarter of 2018.
  3. 15-MPH REDUCED SPEED SCHOOL ZONE: The City of Lakeland will install reduced 15 MPH speed limit school zone signage with flashing yellow beacons. A recent traffic study confirms significant pedestrian crossing activity at the two uncontrolled crosswalks. The City’s Traffic Safety Team recommends that a reduced 15-MPH school zone be established fronting Lakeland High School/Harrison School of the Arts. Installation will take place over the next few weeks so the flashing beacons will be ready for activation on January 4th for the start of the spring 2018 semester. The yellow flashing beacons would operate for 45 minutes in the morning (6:30 – 7:15 a.m.) and the afternoons (2:00 – 2:45 p.m.) when school is in session. Vehicles that exceed the reduced school zone 15-MPH speed limit (applicable when the yellow beacons are in “flash mode”) will be subject to a traffic citation. Additionally, the signage “SPEEDING FINES DOUBLED” will be posted and applicable during these student arrival and dismissal times. 
  4. CROSSWALK SIGNAGE: Crosswalk signage with push-button LED lights will be another tool that the City of Lakeland’s Traffic, Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Team wants to implement at Cumberland Street and Palmetto Street. The Team is currently reviewing products from several different vendors and anticipates installation in early 2018. 

For more information on the City of Lakeland’s traffic operations, please visit lakelandgov.net/publicworks.