Watergrass area residents have turned out to recent Pasco County Commission meetings urging that something be done to improve traffic safety near their neighborhood.
At the Pasco County Commission’s Oct. 24 meeting, Commissioner Seth Weightman added his voice to underscore the urgency of the issue.
He called attention to an intersection at Overpass Road, near the Epperson lagoon.
“That’s a pretty large intersection there,” Weightman said. “That’s a pretty hairy crossing going east-west. There’s currently, I don’t think, a red light there. At minimum, we need to take a look at that. We get a lot of emails.”
Brad Tippin, the county’s development review manager, responded: “There’s warrants that we need to do and different things that happen, to make sure that these are truly necessary lights. There are other options we can use to try to control the traffic.”
Weightman persisted: “The amount of golf cart traffic in the mornings, going eastbound to take kids to school — you’ve got a mix of commercial vehicles, residential traffic, parents on golf carts. It’s cringe-worthy.”
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey noted: “That’s all of the parents who have been coming here (to board meetings).”
Commissioner Ron Oakley noted: “You’ve got to remember that Watergrass was not set up to be a golf cart community, at all.”
Weightman reacted: “But they’re coming from Epperson.”
Tippin responded: “There’s a portion of Epperson, actually north of Watergrass, on that side of Curley Road, where there’s a charter school now. Some of that golf cart traffic tries to make that trip as well.
“We’re working with county engineers and several other folks to look at Watergrass, the scenario there.
“Overpass has some restrictions, as to what we can do with Overpass.
“But we’re trying to kind of look at all of that. We’re looking at the signalization of that intersection. I believe it is on the plans to be signalized, it’s just a matter of timing.”
Weightman responded: “It can’t happen soon enough.”
Tippin said he agrees,
Tippin also noted that while Watergrass was not designed for golf cart use, other communities nearby were intended for that use and it’s a good sign so many golf carts are being used in the area.
“These communities were designed to use golf carts and they’re actually panning out that way,” Tippin said.
Oakley explained that part of the problem is that the county has been delayed in extending Overpass Road over to Kossik Road and U.S. 301.
County staff is working to try to improve the situation near Watergrass, Oakley said, but he added that waiting for those solutions will require patience.
“It does take time to design and get things right.
“Good things are coming. Staff is really working hard on making that happen,” Oakley said.
Published November 01, 2023