New Speed Tables Hit A Bump With Some Acreage Residents

Several residents rose at the Wednesday, March 29 meeting of the Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors to express concerns and frustration, even fear, regarding what they perceive as a major uptick in speeding in their neighborhoods. They blame new, flatter speed tables, which they believe don’t do enough to slow traffic.

“It was dangerous before, now it’s extremely dangerous. Something bad is going to happen,” said a woman who lives off 120th Avenue North, where eight old, teeth-rattling speed bumps have been replaced by four larger, smoother speed tables. “I’d hate for my child to have to sit on the side of that road and wait on a school bus.”

Several residents of 120th Avenue North and the streets that connect with it to the west told supervisors that the new speed tables do little to slow trucks and other traffic using the narrow, canal-side road as a cut-through to avoid often-congested Coconut Blvd. They said they can no longer enjoy walking along 120th, which does not have a sidewalk, and are fearful for children riding bikes, walking or playing in the area.

“Speeding is definitely a problem,” Supervisor Elizabeth Accomando agreed.

“It’s going to get worse and worse until State Road 7 gets done,” added Supervisor Keith Jordano, referring to the delayed SR 7 connection from 60th Street North to Northlake Blvd.

The new speed tables are part of the “Complete Streets Mobility Plan” adopted by the board in 2020, ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson explained. In December 2022, the board approved redoing 40 existing speed tables and adding another 20.

The work was to be broken into two priority zones, with the area north of Orange Blvd. and south of Northlake Blvd. and east of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road and west of 120th Avenue North to be priority one. Priority two will mostly include areas west of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road, Hanson said at the time.

Each speed table costs about $16,400 to install, according to ITID staff.

The new or improved tables bring the district into compliance with Palm Beach County standards and address concerns expressed by Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue regarding emergency vehicles having to cross over the old speed bumps, Hanson said.

ITID would like to install stop signs or lower speed limits on a number of streets, he said, but since ITID is not a municipality, it does not have that authority. That rests with the county.

But concerned residents living in the area who attended the meeting were having none of it.

“Maybe we need to take a step back… [and] put on our creative hats,” ITID Vice President Betty Argue said.

One possibility, Hanson said, would be creating some one-way streets — a move that might not require county approval but would surely inconvenience some residents.

“We would want to hear from residents,” Accomando said. “We need to think this thing through.”

In the end, the board directed Hanson and district staff to look at possibilities for dealing with the issue and return with recommendations.

In other business:

• ITID board members requested a change to staff’s recommendations regarding the notification of millings.

Instead of setting a 30-day response time for residents on a street where millings are planned, residents will have 45 days from when the first-class letters go out. A batch of letters went out on Thursday, April 6, according to staff.

The district also will use door hangers and road signs to inform residents.

The board also asked staff to come back with suggestions for how to better decide which roads will get millings, rather than the current first-five to submit valid forms and $500, plus a lottery system currently in use.

Residents often sleep outside district offices before deadline day, Oct. 1, in an effort to be among the five assured of millings that fiscal year.

• ITID board members passed a resolution honoring former longtime supervisor Michelle Damone, who died March 4 after battling cancer. She served on the board from 1999 to 2002 and again from 2004 to 2016.

The board also voted to name the playground at Citrus Grove Park at 8501 Avocado Blvd. in her honor and plant two trees at Downers Park, located at 16700 East Downers Drive, with the addition of a plaque bearing her name.

“I knew her for 20 years,” Jordano said. “Whether for the parks or the horse community out here, she was a fierce fighter.”