Commissioners review traffic study in Western Marion County
OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Marion County commissioners are considering ways to resolve traffic issues along busy roadways in Western Marion County.
Staff members presented a traffic study on several major roadways, including areas like 60th Avenue, 80th Avenue and State Road 200, to commissioners.
Many residents say the intersection of SW 80th Ave and S.R. 200 is known for heavy traffic and dangerous driving. One resident told TV20 that many drivers run the red lights at the intersection long after they have changed. Another resident said they do their best to avoid the intersection altogether.
Assistant County Administrator Tracy Straub said part of the problem with the area is that the roads have too many connections that interrupt traffic flow. She told commissioners they must evaluate requests to connect to those roads more closely going forward.
“We’re still pretty giving when it comes to allowing all the points of access on the major road network and we’re going to have to be more aggressive about saying ‘no,’” Straub said. “Every time one of those intersections comes in, that is a pinch point. That is a point of conflict that is going to add to your traffic congestion.”
Straub also encouraged commissioners to consider a limited access corridor, which would allow drivers to get between the north and south areas with limited interruptions.
As county officials continue to adapt to Ocala’s rapid growth, some residents are understanding of the situation.
“I don’t have a complaint about it because Ocala is the place to be, especially if you’re retired or thinking about retiring,” said resident Scott Majewski. “But like anything else, you’ve got pluses and minuses. Right now it’s the traffic, so... they’ll fix it.”
Commissioner Carl Zalak said he feels it is important to plan for how they will handle traffic as the county continues to grow. He said waiting until the growth happens will be problematic.
Commissioner Michelle Stone said she would review the information with staff members and try and have an updated plan by the end of the year.
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