Growth in Dade City has prompted a recommendation for a roundabout at Adair Road and State Road 52, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) board has added the project to its priority list for consideration of future funding.
The MPO board’s action came during its Feb. 10 meeting, after a presentation by Wally Blain, who is with Benesch, a company that merged with Tindale Oliver in 2021.
Blain explained the current situation and expected traffic volumes on the road, to the MPO board.
“Adair Road is at the end of the east side of Morningside Drive, where it currently ends at State Road 52, over near the fairgrounds and Pasco High School,” Blain said.
The purpose of the study was “to look at the traffic impacts there and the needs of future development,” he said.
“There’s a lot of new development that’s been permitted by the city, a lot of new construction, a lot of active permitting, which is increasing the traffic through the area and through the intersection,” he said.
His company’s task was to consider what could done at the intersection, which has a two-way stop control on Adair Road and Morningside Drive, with State Road 52 running uninterrupted through the intersection.
The study involved observing traditional morning and afternoon peak hours, as well as school drop-off and pickup times.
“We took the Morningside Drive extension study that was completed last year and made sure that we were consistent with the data that was collected through that, as well,” he said.
The study also included an analysis of traffic that would be added from two active developments, as well as a projection of increased background traffic from future growth along the State Road 52 corridor.
Blain said the study took into account not just current traffic, but what is expected in five to 10 years.
The study also included a safety analysis.
A safety review found that there were 16 crashes, between 2016 and 2020. Those resulted in one injury and no fatalities.
While the intersection is not necessarily considered to be unsafe today, as traffic increases, it could become a safety concern, Blain said.
“There’s a lot of activity from the students that interacts with the roadway, as it is today,” Blain said.
The study looked at what would happen if the intersection was signalized, including a left-turning lane on Adair Road onto State Road 52; and, what would happen with a single-lane roundabout at the intersection, Blain said.
The signalized intersection and turn lane performed slightly better from an operational viewpoint, Blain said. But the roundabout was deemed to be superior from a safety standpoint, he added.
Another consideration was the fact that a roundabout is planned at Meridian Avenue and State Road 52, in Dade City, so this roundabout would be in keeping with the character of the roadway corridor, Blain said.
The proposed roundabout would cost about $1.4 million, which includes some right of way impacts and the relocation of some storm culverts.
The consultant’s recommendation was to approve the roundabout and add it to the MPO’s priority list.
Pasco County Commission Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey’s voiced support for the recommendation, saying: “I like the roundabout.”
Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez gave the proposal her enthusiastic support.
She described the proposed improvement as “very timely.”
Hernandez added: “There’s so much going on in the area, and yes, I know the residents will be happy. The growth is already happening there.
“I’d love to see this be put on the list and get that done. It’s going to check off all of the boxes of safety, and improve traffic and all of the things that we need in that area.”
The mayor then made a motion to place the project on the MPO’s priority list, for consideration of future funding. The motion was approved.
Published February 23, 2022