Charlotte County commissioners approve reducing speed limits

Reporter: Erika Jackson

Several neighbors living in Englewood East want the county to slow people down.

While driving along Fruitland Ave. in Englewood East, there are plenty of cars, but limited pedestrians and bicyclists.

“I used to be able to ride my bicycle down the road,” said Francis Manning, a Fruitland Ave. homeowner, “and now I can’t do it anymore.”

Nearby homeowners blame speeders. Charlotte County commissioners unanimously approved reducing the speed limit by 5 mph on Fruitland Ave. and dozens of other county roadways.

“People are probably going by so fast,” said Harry Farringer, a Fruitland Ave. homeowner, “they wouldn’t even notice the change in speed.”

Charlotte County deputies will begin enforcing the lower speed limits once the new signs are installed within the month.

While many people who live in the area said they agree with lowering the speed limit on Fruitland Ave., they said they want to see additional safety measures.

Farring created a petition to block off Fruitland Ave. at the Winchester Blvd. intersection. He said it was the only realistic solution.

But now, the county said closing the road could create traffic problems elsewhere and instead will allocate more than $900,000 to add a traffic signal.

Some have said speed bumps are a more realistic approach. While others said diverting commercial traffic is a better plan. But they acknowledge the lower speed limit is a step in the right direction and not the final answer.

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