City crews plan to paint lines marking 55 parking spots along the outer lanes of Lake Morton Drive on Dec. 13 as part of continuing efforts to increase driver safety awareness there, officials announced Friday.

“This test solution provides a low-cost method of enhancing accessibility to the street for all road users, while promoting additional friction and thereby reducing operating speeds and increasing the awareness of motorists,” city Traffic Operations Manager Angelo Rao said.

The city recently reduced the speed limit on Lake Morton Drive from 25 mph to 20 mph as the first step in an effort to reduce driver distraction blamed for collisions that injured a runner and killed five swans.

A city blog post lists other changes planned for the area of Lake Morton Drive and Palmetto Street next to the Lakeland Public Library:

  • The left-turn lane from Lake Morton to East Palmetto Street will be eliminated “to enhance multi-modal mobility and to connect with the Johnson Avenue Lake-to-Lake bicycle system.”
  • Bicycle lanes will be added to both sides of Palmetto Street between Johnson Avenue and Lake Morton Drive.
  • Drivers turning from Palmetto onto Lake Morton Drive will have a single lane instead of the current two turn lanes.

The map below shows where the parking spaces will be painted and also includes two proposed raised crosswalks:

  • Just south of Chiles Street by the library.
  • On the west side of the lake between Palmetto Street and Louise Place.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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