Five additional intersections in downtown Lakeland will be converted from stop lights to four-way stops starting July 21.
The intersections that will be converted with flashing lights and stop signs are:
- Orange Street at Missouri Avenue
- Orange Street at Tennessee Avenue
- Orange Street at Kentucky Avenue
- Lime Street at Tennessee Avenue
- Lime Street at Kentucky Avenue
In January, seven intersections were converted to four-way stops. Tess Schwartz, manager of traffic operations, said the intersections converted in January are operating efficiently.
“There have been half as many crashes in that area of downtown as compared to the same period last year, so it makes sense to convert the five remaining locations,” Schwartz said.
The seven converted in January are:
- Main Street at Missouri Avenue
- Main Street at Tennessee Avenue
- Main Street at Kentucky Avenue
- Lemon Street at Missouri Avenue
- Lemon Street at Tennessee Avenue
- Lemon Street at Kentucky Avenue
- Orange Street at Iowa Avenue
City spokesman Kevin Cook noted that Lakeland’s downtown has undergone significant transformation over the past decade, including the construction of the in-town bypass — also known as George Jenkins Boulevard. The city also removed a state highway around the south side of Lake Mirror, reclaiming the waterfront for recreation and development.
The bypass diverted traffic away from the downtown street network, dropping traffic counts so much that the stoplights are no longer warranted under requirements of the Federal Highway Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation.
Cook said in a press release that the city’s traffic operations department reviewed traffic patterns and collected data on the downtown intersections during peak hours to measure crash and capacity analysis. In most cases, travel time, freedom to maneuver, traffic interruptions and convenience for drivers improved with the four-way stops installed.
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