The no right on red sign at the intersection of Stickney Point Road and Midnight Pass Road has been removed and replaced by an electronic sytem that only prevents right turns at the intersecton if a pedestrian has pressed the crosswalk button, according to a Thursday report by SKA board member Bob Stein.
The Florida Department of Transportation made an unannounced February decision to change the intersection's signage to prevent right turns on red. The move created a flood of backlash from area residents complaining about traffic backups at the intersection.
The change was reversed Thursday; a new pedestrian-activated system to prevent right turns is now in its place.
FDOT officials claimed complaints of vehicles not yielding to pedestrians crossing the intersection spurred the original move, which was made unilaterally by FDOT without consulting county staff.
"We had a citizen who called and said cars weren't stopping," FDOT spokesman Robin Stublen said in February. "It's a safey issue and it doesn't impede the flow of traffic."
The resulting traffic backups, however, which sometimes stretched back to the mainland across U.S. 41, prompted many area residents to complain and demand that the intersection be changed back to the way it was.
"The county had nothing to do with this and were probably caught as off guard as we were," SKA President Michael Shay said, referring to the FDOT's February decision to modify the intersection.
"But the county had everything to do in resolving it," replied County Commissioner Nora Patterson, who attended Thursday's meeting.
Contact Nolan Peterson at [email protected]