Acreage Residents Demand Action At Hall And Northlake

A roomful of residents attended the Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday to express concern about the high number of traffic accidents recently in The Acreage, especially at the intersection of Hall and Northlake boulevards, site of a recent deadly accident between an SUV and a dump truck.

Speakers included a firefighter who answers accident calls, the parents of the mother who remains in a coma after the recent accident which claimed the life of her son, and the residents of a home at Hall and Northlake who say they are the frequent first responders to accidents at the intersection.

Also attending were members of Palm Beach County’s traffic engineering staff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office District 15 Commander Lt. David Combs and other officials to hear input from residents.

Jorge Maldonado presented a petition with more than 1,000 signatures to the board that his wife Lindsay had gathered through, asking for rumble strips and speed humps approaching the stop signs at Northlake Blvd.

He said the existing rumble strips approaching Northlake are worn out, that speed humps are needed and that the stop sign is set back too far to be readily seen.

One resident pointed out that Hall Blvd. is a long stretch, and the stop sign at Northlake Blvd. often catches drivers by surprise or goes completely unnoticed.

Rich Vassalotti, a 25-year firefighter captain whose command has included The Acreage, speaking as a resident, said the accidents have been going on for a long time and his neighbors are concerned.

“The question is, how could this have been prevented?” he said. “How could other serious car accidents we’ve had have been prevented?”

Even unimpaired people sometimes miss stop signs, Vassalotti said. “I don’t think people do it on purpose,” he said. “It’s just something that happens. It’s an accident, but I do believe that there are ways that we can help lessen the chances of having more tragedies.”

Vassalotti said that a great majority of traffic accidents he has seen in The Acreage are attributed to running stop signs. He pointed out that many intersections have been made four-way stops following serious accidents and suggested more four-way stops might be a deterrent.

“This area is growing, and we have more and more people on the road,” he said. “The reason these need to be four-way stops, if somebody is going to blow a stop sign, maybe [the other driver] will just be sitting at that stop sign.”

He said an illuminated sign or even possibly a traffic light at Hall and Northlake might be needed.

Supervisor Michele Damone said the district’s signs are regulated by the county. She recommended that the district write a letter recommending enhanced warnings at the intersection.

“The best thing that we can do is write a letter to the engineering department,” she said. “They have always been responsive, although it’s not always what we want.”

Resident Patricia Curry agreed with Vassalotti’s comments.

“Some roads are two-way stops and others are four-way,” she said. “The problem is it takes the county so long before they do their studies. I say buy our own damn signs.”

She pointed out that ITID once had a planning committee that addressed road issues.

Former ITID Supervisor Mike Erickson said when he was on the board seven years ago, one of the first things they did was have a traffic study done.

“No action has been taken since then,” he said, adding that the county wants to test every intersection before it puts in a four-way stop.

David Howell, who lives at the corner of Hall and Northlake, said he is often the first person on the scene after accidents occur there.

“I’ve got to tell you, there have been no dull moments there on that corner,” Howell said. “I’ve witnessed three fatalities, dead when I got there. This has been at all hours of the night. I’ve seen ages 3 years old to 9 years old, little kids laying in the middle of the street covered with glass, screaming bloody murder.”

Howell said he would like to see a traffic light at the intersection. “I know there’s a lot of negativity toward that, but we’d really like to see a traffic light there,” he said, even if it’s only a flashing light.

He said the stop sign on Hall at Northlake is easy to miss, although there is a sign with a flashing light in his easement on Hall Blvd. about 300 feet from Northlake that says, “Prepare to Stop.”

“The one at Northlake does sit about 10 or 12 feet off the corner,” Howell said. “When you approach that intersection, it’s not standing there where you can see it.”


  1. With no disrespect to the mother in this case and I suspect this was accidental.

    No-one obeys the stop signs. It isn’t a stop sign problem it is a driver problem. If the Sheriff and Judges were more aggressive I believe you would see less problems.

    Everyone that drives Northlake knows it is the wild west of highways.
    Sunday, I had 3 vehicles pass me, crossing double solid lines with oncoming traffic when I was already at or above the speed limit according to the GPS.

    If there is limited time the passer will force his way back into the proper lane forcing the car being passed to brake.

    I am awaiting MORE DEATHS on that Road.

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