A comprehensive study of Gulf of Mexico Drive street lights has been performed by the Public Works Department to reduce the impact of lighting during sea turtle nesting season.
The study, performed in March, included night inspections of the beach to determine lights that may cause turtles to head for the road instead of the Gulf after laying a nest.
An April 29 memo from Public Works Director Juan Florensa reports the town is asking Florida Power & Light Co. to convert ten lights along Gulf of Mexico Drive to a “cut-off style fixture with a 360-degree shield installed.”
FPL has agreed to make the changes this month and the lights are currently off while the modifications are made by mid-May.
The ten locations (see below) are at major intersections and are located directly across from public beach accesses.
The Public Works Department also shielded an additional two standard street lights on Broadway by blackening out the diffuser lenses. Four decorative town street lamps at Broadway, Gulfside Road, General Harris Street and Wake Island Road were also shielded.
Town Manager Dave Bullock told commissioners in a May 2 email that he will present them with a pedestrian safety study for Gulf of Mexico Drive at their Monday, June 3 regular meeting. That study is being completed now by the Florida Department of Transportation. Commissioners asked for that study to be performed after expressing concerns that lighting and pedestrian safety for its residents, especially during sea turtle nesting season, is not safe in certain places.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at email@example.com.
Gulf of Mexico Drive street lights are being modified at the following locations:
• 1030 GMD
• 2151 GMD
• 2525 GMD
• Intersection of Bay Isles Road and GMD
• 5490 GMD
• 4800 GMD
• 5700 GMD
• 5820 GMD
• Intersection of Broadway and GMD
Currently 1 Response
- So turtles' welfare is more important than that of humans. The moon is not always hovering over the water to lead a path to the Gulf for the turtles. If the moon is over the bay or low in the horizon or not visible due to clouds, what happens to the turtles then? If they can't survive on their own, then that is natural selection. Some species survive and some don't. To survive the turtles may have to relocate elsewhere. So be it.
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