Sun-Sentinel Article 05-31-15
Sun-Sentinel Article 05-31-15
May 31, 2015
Below is a copy of an article from the Sun-Sentinel regarding the stretch of Lyons Road in front of our community. Sorry for the delay, but due to circumstances out of our control the sodding along Lyons Road is now expected to take place Tuesday June 9th.
Drivers speeding through sharp curves on Lyons Road west of Boca Raton are taking out trees and fences and slamming into concrete walls.
Fifty-three people were injured in 55 crashes between 2007 and 2011 on the stretch of road just south of Glades Road, according to a 2013 safety study by the Florida Department of Transportation. While no one died during that time, most of those crashes — some 58 percent — involved vehicles running off the road. About 42 percent of the crashes involved vehicles hitting a fixed object.
"It's been horrible," said Michael Rosenberg, whose neighborhood abuts the curvy section of Lyons. "One car was up in a tree. Every two weeks, you see the palm trees mowed down in the median. The guardrails are bent. You see pieces of bumpers."
Relief soon will be coming for both drivers and residents.
At the request of Palm Beach County, the Florida Department of Transportation is planning to fix the dangerous curves between Pine Springs Drive and Norte Lago Drive that stretch about half a mile. The department is in the midst of a study to realign the road to make it safer.
The problem is three adjacent curves, also known as a S-curve. The speed limit on four-lane Lyons is 40 mph. But through the curves, the suggested speed limit is 30 mph.
That's because the curves weren't designed to handle traffic going more than 40 mph.
Lyons Road grows along with increase in new homes, businesses
However, some drivers aren't heeding that lower speed limit. As a result, many are losing control around the curves and running off the road. They're hitting trees, guardrails, street signs.
In the 2013 safety study, the state transportation department found that nearly all of the drivers traveling through this curvy section of Lyons were going faster than 30 mph. On average, they're traveling between 39 mph and 45 mph. Some are going as fast as 50 mph around the curves.
"You come home and wonder how did that car get in that position," said Chad Edwards, who lives in a community on Lyons whose entrance sign has been damaged several times by vehicles crashing into it. "I personally saw a car flip over. ... They're just going too fast."
The county has posted flashing signs warning drivers to reduce their speed to 30 mph when driving through the curves. In addition, the county installed signs that let drivers know how fast they were driving.
But that hasn't brought down the traveling speeds, and people still are driving above 30 mph. So the state transportation department plans to straighten out the curves a bit, and add a bank to the curves to prevent cars from running off it.
The road will have a slight tilt with the roadway raised on one side while the other side is low — similar to race tracks or the ramps leading to highways.
"We're trying to flatten out the curve," said Thuc Le, a transportation department project manager.
"Whatever they do will help," said Rosenberg, who added that it's difficult getting out of his community because of the curves and speeding drivers.
In addition to fixing the road, the state plans to fix the drainage because that section of Lyons tends to flood during heavy rain. Plus, it will install a sidewalk on the west side of the road.
But Edwards worries the county and state aren't doing all they can to improve safety for pedestrians who also use the road by not including a sidewalk on both sides of the road.
"We live in an area within a half-mile of parks and schools, and we don't have a sidewalk," he said.
The project, with an estimated cost of $3.7 million, is expected to start in March 2017.
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