MINNEOLA, Fla. — In our latest Traffic Inbox, we talked about an intersection in the Minneola area that some neighbors contend is dangerous.
- Residents say CR-561 in Minneola is dangerous to cross
- Because it's a county road, Lake County responsible for changes
- Troopers say crashes on CR 561 aren't common
We initially reported that it's the city's responsibility to decide whether it should become a four-way stop. But to clarify, it's actually a county road, which means that Lake County is responsible.
Digging deeper into the issue, we found that although some want change, data shows it may not be as dangerous as residents may think.
Lois Skipper says she's lived in Lake County close to 39 years, and she still gets nervous sometimes when she approaches Lake Minneola Shores Road, also known as County Road 561, from Lakeshore Drive, during peak times.
"You have to pull way out, almost in the street, so you can see what's coming," she said.
The intersection may have pedestrian problems as well. To get to the community playground on the beach, you have to cross a street with cars going 40 mph.
“They’re going so fast when they’re turning, and they’re going so fast, you think they’re going to hit you,” Skipper said.
While it may look like a typical intersection, a closer look shows the pain of the past: A cross marks the spot where a person died in a motorcycle crash in 2012.
The pain may still run deep for some locals, but Florida Highway Patrol data shows crashes aren’t common there. In fact, only three wrecks have been reported in the area in the past 12 years. For that reason, troopers don’t consider it to be a problem area.
Not everyone in the community is concerned, either, but for those like Skipper, a four-way stop is the answer.
We emailed Lake County government to find out whether they have any plans for this intersection. Officials said that Lake County Public Works intends to make a site visit this week to determine potential solutions and evaluate the intersection for pedestrian crossing needs and possible improvements.
We'll let you know what they say when we hear back.
As for the city of Minneola, the mayor and city manager say they support any changes that will make the area safer.
CLARIFICATION: This story has been amended from the originally posted version to reflect more updated information.
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