WOW’s coverage of the Dec. 14 WCA Board meeting included a lengthy debate regarding a proposed crosswalk connecting West Park Village to Westchase Elementary School. During the meeting, GAC Chair Rick Goldstein stated he had recently had separate discussions with CDD Chairman Matt Lewis and members of the County’s public works department to discuss the proposed crosswalk. According to Goldstein, Lewis asked whether the WCA could table discussions on the matter to allow the CDD to discuss it at their January meeting. Several community members were on hand to express their support for the crosswalk. Complete coverage of the Dec. 14 meeting can be found here.
During the January 2 CDD Board Meeting, Goldstein spoke to CDD Supervisors regarding the proposed crosswalk, including concerns he had regarding the project. There was some confusion regarding whether or not a stoplight would be installed in conjunction with the crosswalk. In the end, the CDD concluded the discussion by agreeing to follow the matter closely; however, the CDD took no formal position on the matter as supervisors were hearing about it for the first time.
WOW has since spoken with Kim Byers, Assistant County Administrator with the Public Works Department, to better understand the current state of the proposed crosswalk. Byers explained that a Westchase resident reached out to the County to express safety concerns with mid-block crossings to the entrance of Westchase Elementary School (residents crossing to the school by way of the median on Linebaugh, rather than at the designated crosswalk). The nearest pedestrian-marked crossing lies 1,100 feet west of the school entrance at the Montague St traffic signal.
Byers stated that when residents raise concerns, the Public Works Department is charged with conducting an investigation. The County retained engineering firm Burgess & Niple to count the pedestrian/bicycle volumes crossing Linebaugh Avenue along the stretch of road from Westchase Drive/Bentley Way to the Driveway of the Westchase Community Development District (CDD). Volumes of pedestrians and bicycles crossing the studied roadway segment were collected for three weekdays from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. on September 13, Oct 3 and Oct 5, and from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on October 3 to October 5, 2023. Based on the evaluation, it was determined a safe means of crossing Linebaugh Avenue is needed at this location within the school zone to create the shortest and safest route to school for students and accompanying adults (see image below).
Byers pointed out that no project funding has yet been identified for either the construction or design of a new pedestrian crossing. The next step will be for the County Traffic Engineering staff to discuss with the Westchase Community Association at their meeting on Jan 11, and to begin developing project concepts and alternatives that can be shared for community input.
The Jan. 11 WCA Board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Westchase Swim & Tennis Center at 10049 Parley Dr.