Pinellas County has drastically seen an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads during peak commuter hours. This traffic can lead to people using local roads and streets to bypass highways or overloaded intersections. While in a hurry to get to work or home, drivers can sometimes exceed speed limits in those neighborhoods resulting in safety and quality of life issues.
The City has a Traffic Calming Policy, which outlines proper procedures to address traffic issues. Many factors are considered to determine the most feasible traffic control measures including; the surrounding roadway network, emergency access, speeds and volumes of traffic, accident history, and nearby construction.
Overview of Traffic Calming Procedures
- The citizen initiates the procedure by submitting an application form, including the boundaries of the local roadway to be considered. This individual also agrees to be the point of contact for the petitioning work that follows.
- The City Engineer agrees to the requested study boundaries or suggests a boundary change with the applicant. Together, they determine whether or not the involved street(s) are eligible for calming based on roadway classification and vehicle speed/volume counts.
- If the road classification or traffic counts do not meet the criteria to implement traffic calming, the applicant is informed and the process is ended. If the road classification and traffic counts do qualify, a study is performed by the Engineering Division to determine the appropriate traffic control measures.
- A meeting is held with the residents to present the data and traffic calming options, receive comments, and develop a final recommendation.
- A petition describing the specific traffic control measures is prepared and circulated by the Engineering Divisions. A map with the property addresses and highlighted section of roadway is provided. The petition must be returned and approved by the property owner of at least 60% of the affected residences. Citizens will have 90 days from the date of issuance to return the petition.
- Upon meeting all requirements, the Engineering Division would mail out letters notifying citizens of the plan and schedule to install the specific calming measures. The City Administration, Fire Rescue, Police Department, and Public Works Departments would be copied on this letter.
The City of Largo also offers an alternative, more community-driven option to address concerns. The Speed Limit reduction policy offers an opportunity to reduce City-owned local residential streets from 30 mph to 25 mph. There are currently 696 streets eligible. The Speed Limit Reduction Policy Procedure shares similarities with The City’s adopted Traffic Calming Policy.
Overview of Speed Limit Reduction Procedures
- Citizen contacts The City of Largo Engineering Services Dept. through service request online or phone call.
- Engineering Service provides the citizen with an application and a copy of the updated Traffic Calming and Speed Limit Reduction Policy
- Once the application is completed and returned, Engineering Services will review the problem and determine a recommendation. The recommendation will be presented to The City Traffic and Transportation Committee for review and comments.
- The Traffic and Transportation Committee provides their recommendation to the citizen with a petition form that allows the affected property owners to vote yes or no on the recommended speed limit reduction. A vote of “yes” must be obtained by at least 60% of the property owners.
- Engineering Services will provide an ordinance for speed limit reduction to the City Commission for approval.
- Engineering Services will reach out to the residents of the speed limit reduction plan and schedules the installation of new speed limit signs.