Copy of letter sent today (02/29/2016) is below, followed by a link to the petition if you would like to add your name.
To: Billy Hattaway, FDOT District 1 Secretary; JoAnn May, FDOT Public Information Office; Lora Hollingsworth, FDOT Safety Office; Brian Blanchard, FDOT Operations and Engineering; Trey Tillander, FDOT Operations and Engineering, Program Management; Julio Gonzalez, State Representative; Nancy Detert, State Senate; Rick Scott, Florida Governor
RE: Traffic light at US41 and Corradino/Galleria
Emailed February 29th, 2016
My name is Ali Johnston, and I am a resident of Gran Paradiso at the West Villages. I am contacting you in hopes that you may be of assistance in furtherance of a cause that is greatly important to me and to most of my neighbors within the West Villages Improvement District. A traffic light is desperately needed at the intersection of US41/Tamiami Trail and the intersecting cross streets of Corradino and Galleria Boulevard. I was informed that although the developers of the sister communities (IslandWalk and Gran Paradiso) are responsible for the actual installation of the traffic light, the FDOT has yet to approve it, which must be done before any work can begin.
For a little background, a warrant study was conducted in late January of 2014 by Kimley-Horn and Associates. Their report, completed in early April of 2014, recommended a traffic light, but residents were told that FDOT said that warrants were not met to approve the installation. I do have a copy of that report, if you would be interested to see it for yourself.
At the time of the study, there were only about 550 households between the two communities. Gran Paradiso re-opened for new construction in October 2013, meaning that by January, there had not been enough time to add new homes and residents from that project. In the two years from the day after that warrant study was completed, DiVosta sold and closed on 460 new homes. As of this week, Lennar has closed on 464 homes since opening the community to new sales. Lennar alone has over 140 homes under contract to be completed and closed at varying stages over the next six months or so. It is probably safe to assume that DiVosta is likely in that same ballpark as well. The West Villages - with just its two communities of IslandWalk and Gran Paradiso - is second only to Lakewood Ranch for growth in the region with only about 15% fewer new home starts than that area had last year (according the Metrostudy report just released), and Lakewood Ranch is nearly ten times the size.
One resident's contact to the FDOT Public Information Office last week indicated that approval is awaiting a new warrant study to be commissioned by the developers. Please, please, please, do not make us wait for this! They are incentivized to delay ordering and obtaining one, plus the last one took over two months from study to completed report, not counting the time it will take to get the project started and then additional to get it completed. The previous warrant study almost validated the necessity for the project; and, as you can see by the numbers, there was less than 30 percent of the homes then compared to what will be in place by this year's end.
We, the residents, started a petition a few days ago to show you that the need is felt throughout the community. In just a few days, we have gathered over 400 signatures and are still going. Names and many comments are attached for your reference. The traffic has obviously and dramatically increased in the last two years. It is becoming increasingly precarious and an unsafe intersection. Not only are there significantly more residents, but more residents' guests, services, and prospective buyers that are touring the neighborhoods as well. Please, assist us in expediting approval and installation of a traffic light as soon as possible. We do not want to wait until there is a fatality to implement safety measures.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter.
Petition Link to Add Your Signature...click here!
[Also, letter was amended for the Governor's office, as it was a form contact box. No attached petition, so it said available. I added that the reason for contacting that office was, because it was at the head of the FDOT organizational chart. And, the pie chart could not be included.]
Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC