E-mail sent to Clearwater Mayor, City Manager and Council Members
I have been a small hotel owner on Clearwater Beach for over 30 years. During that time, I have seen many changes, some good and some not so good. The Beachwalk has been one of the city's success stories. Not only has it enhanced our area for tourists as well as residents, it has added to the idea that Clearwater Beach is a destination area…not just a place people drive through.
It should be noted that I use the term, "Destination Area" purposefully. No matter what the argument has been regarding development over the years, most everyone agrees that Clearwater Beach remain a safe, family destination for all….a place where people can walk freely and safely to and from the beach. It is this quaintness that has made Clearwater Beach the #1 city beach in the country.
While I appreciate the fact that the Mayor, the council members and city staff attended the meeting at the Recreation center to discuss the proposed one-way street design for Hamden and Coronado Drives….I am concerned that, if implemented, these one-way streets will move us away from the very thing that has made Clearwater Beach a safe destination.
My two biggest concerns is the lack of pedestrian access and the speed at which vehicles will be traveling if the proposed one-way street design is implemented. As for the lack of pedestrian access, without new and upgraded crosswalks on Hamden Drive and Coronado Drive, the city will create danger zones for pedestrians that are not only unsafe, but will detract from the destination theme that makes our beach famous. Tourists as well as residents who walk to the beach from Bayside Drive, Devon Drive, Brightwater Drive, Hamden Drive and Coronado Drive will have to cross at least one of these streets in order to get to the beach or Beachwalk. Even now, on Coronado Drive, you take your life into your hands when crossing. Cars are speeding through this area with no concern for the crosswalks that are currently in place. You actually have to step out in front of an oncoming vehicle in order to get someone to stop because the current signage is inadequate or is never enforced.
Finally, as for the speed and increased volume at which vehicles will be traveling on Hamden Drive, how are you going to address the back out parking for the approximately 13 motels that will be affected?
- William E. Sykes
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