[UPDATE] Sidewalks and Safety Improvements in Killearn Lakes

By: Mike Springer Email
By: Mike Springer Email

Tallahassee, FL -- February 24, 2012 --

Leon County held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday in Killearn Lakes to mark the completion of sidewalks and safety improvements to the area.

Nearly five miles of sidewalk construction and bike lanes were completed along Deer Lake West and Kinhega Drive to provide safer transportation options for walkers and bikers, in addition to connecting neighborhoods to Deerlake Middle and Killearn Lakes
Elementary schools.

“This project was essential to supporting the priority of safety for children and families of Killearn Lakes,” said County Commissioner Bryan Desloge, who represents District 4. “This was one of four projects that involved maintaining a family-friendly environment rich
with this community’s natural landscape that includes the beautiful canopied roads we’ve come to love here in Leon County.”

The sidewalk and safety improvements took 17 months to complete and came in approximately $265,000 under budget. The full project included additional crosswalks with signs, bike lanes, restriped driving lanes and more school-zone markers. Roads were also narrowed to reduce vehicle speed and enhance pedestrian safety. A unique under-the-sidewalk stormwater treatment system provided a significant cost savings to Leon County in the construction process. Additionally, the sidewalk was constructed around trees, which significantly reduced the number of trees that needed to be removed.
Wetlands were also preserved in keeping with the overall character of the subdivision.

“This sidewalk will serve as a vital connector for kids to their schools, walkers and bikers to the great outdoors here in Killearn Lakes and neighbors to each other,” said County Administrator Vincent S. Long.

Area schools were considered well in advance allowing construction teams to lay the sidewalk during summer months when student populations would not be affected as much.

“This project is a great example of the County working hand-in-hand with the community to create something that is practical and enjoyable,” said Commission Chairman Akin Akinyemi. “The positive outcome is a more livable community – one that provides safe
and convenient transportation choices and recreational options to all citizens, especially our young ones, like the ones that use this area.”


Tallahassee, FL -- February 22, 2012 --

Parents and students at Deer Lake Middle School have been concerned about cars speeding along the roadways they crossed for years.

"They're coming really fast. And if I was on the street I was scared of the cars and getting hit," says eighth grader John Mitchell.
And getting hit is something on the minds of many parents whose children walked to school.

"You worry every morning you had to leave them and couldn't drop them off yourself," says Trina Searcy, parent of former Deer Lake students.

Now after 18 months and $1.5 million dollars the county is doing something about it.

At a ribbon cutting Wednesday, county officials unveiled improvements to Deer Lake West. Adding higher curbs, bike lanes and more crosswalks to a road that averaged about 6 accidents a year from 2005 to 2010. County Commissioner Bryan Desloge hopes these improvements give residents a peace of mind.

"We put the bike lanes in and we've re-stripped the road and we've defined the lanes. I think what's happening is that traffic studies will show the traffic will slow down a little bit," says Desloge.

And it seems to be working.
"I feel a great sense of relief," says Mitchell.

The project came in around $260,000 under budget. The total cost was $1,500,890.81.

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