I am sure there have been plenty of complaints over the last couple months concerning all of the construction on Seminole Pratt Whitney Road and the dreadful traffic. Everyone expected a change for things to get better around that area, sadly something was changed, but for the worse.
The speed limit on Okeechobee from Folsom Road to 162nd Drive North was dropped from 45 mph to 30 mph. I believe this was a huge mistake and should be changed back to what the speed limit was before: 45 mph. There are many reasons as to why I believe the speed limit should be where it was before.
To start off, the town council made this change so the Loxahatchee Groves area could have more of a “quiet” and “rural” feel to it. However, if you look at the bigger picture, that road is one of the main roads to get in and out of Loxahatchee. Most of the people who live out in the Loxahatchee area use that road to get to and from work, making it not such a “quiet” road to begin with, considering the traffic. With that, changing the speed did nothing but make it more of a problem with excessive traffic. Not to mention, there’s already major construction happening on Seminole Pratt, causing an enormous amount of traffic that leads most cars to Okeechobee. Therefore, changing the speed limit did not make the area any “quieter,” but possibly louder and more of a problem.
Not only is this decision of lowering the speed limit disliked by many, but it also happened unexpectedly. No one seemed to believe this change would happen, due to it being such an inconvenience. Also, Okeechobee has been running through Loxahatchee for years now and all the sudden the speed limit was a problem. It doesn’t really make sense. In addition to that, a large majority of citizens dislike this so much that a petition was made online by Jamie Paul. The petition now has 350 signatures against the lowering of the speed limit. With that, changing the speed limit back to 45 mph would make many happy faces around this area.
While some might say that reducing the speed limit was a beneficial action because the area is an equestrian community and has many churches and businesses along that part of Okeechobee, others might say that there are other equestrian areas in The Acreage that have houses lined up along the roads but the speed limit is 40 mph. For example, Key Lime Blvd. has signs up saying “equestrian area,” although the speed limit is above 30 mph, unlike Okeechobee.
To sum up, I believe the speed limit on Okeechobee should be changed back to 45 mph because it’s making the area less “quiet” and no one really seems to like this change. Therefore, the speed should be increased back to 45 mph.
Brooke Champagne, Loxahatchee
Editor’s Note: Ms. Champagne is a student at Seminole Ridge High School.