FDOT gets feedback on plans for West Cervantes safety improvement

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Florida Department of Transportation held its second of two workshops Tuesday to show the public plans for safety improvements on West Cervantes Street and to get feedback before engineers move forward with designs. 

Gulf Power has installed bright LED lighting and a sign has gone up showing drivers their speed compared to the 35 mph limit. These are just the beginning of the changes coming over the next two years. 

Evelyn Webber is tired of hearing the news of someone being killed trying to cross the busy Pensacola street. 

“It’s tragic that we have to hear of such foolishness,” Webber said.

Last summer, a woman and an 8-month-old girl were killed crossing Cervantes at M Street. Just a few weeks ago, a man died crossing a couple blocks away. 

Webber’s friend was hit recently by a car in this same area. 

“As soon as he stepped out, which was his right to go, she wasn’t paying attention,” Webber said. “She turned and hit him. Police and everybody came but he got up and said that’s okay, let it go, but today, he’s still having headaches from that.”

At Tuesday’s workshop, residents stopped by and saw the drawings and gave their written comments  

“We’ll look at that and see if there’s any sort of design changes we can make,” FDOT Spokesperson Ian Satter said. “We’ll hold a public hearing coming up this fall. It’s more of a formal presentation where folks can come out, we’ll get their comments, get their input, then we’ll go from there and finish our design.”

The improvements include five new crosswalks, raised medians, reducing the width of lanes and pedestrian barriers that will go in the middle of the street. 

Webber thinks the speeding drivers should slow down and be more observant. 

“You’ve got these few wondering why we’re going 35 so they’ll weave through us like we’re going too slow and I wish there was enforcement there at that time to catch them and say okay, you feel like you want to pass them, pull over,” Webber said. 

The $7.5 million project includes Cervantes from A Street to Pace Street. They expect construction to start in 2020. 

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