Residents in a Pasco County neighborhood who say they've been asking for help from the county for 15 years to get increased enforcement of the speed limit in their community may soon, finally, get some kind of response.
- Nature's Hideaway residents cautious when going to mailboxes
- Residents say cars speed through at 45 mph
- County says no complaints ever made it to official forms
Diane Caputo, a resident of Nature's Hideaway in New Port Richey, said she learned right away when she moved to the area a few years ago to be very careful when grabbing the mail from her street-side mailbox.
"They (drivers) come at us at about 45 mph at any given time of the day, and it's just too much," Caputo said. "The speed limit is 25, and they don't abide by it at all."
Speeding through the neighborhood has become a real issue. The day we were shooting this story, a fellow neighbor, Patty Born, was trying to get video on her phone of speeding drivers.
It didn't work out quite as planned.
"He (the driver) just gave us the finger," Caputo said. "He'll be back later, going fast."
The residents said they've been trying to get help from the county for 15 years. The speeding cars, however, have not resulted in any serious damage to life or property, so the calls apparently have gone unanswered.
"And unfortunately, that's what the county waits for — they wait for somebody to get killed before they'll come out," Caputo said. "We don't want it to get to that."
We reached out to county officials on behalf of the Nature's Hideaway residents and learned that a decade and a half's worth of their complaints had never made it to an official form.
"We have not had formal complaints from that neighborhood, but will be looking into it and offer residents a meeting with our traffic sergeant if they are interested," said Melanie Snow, spokesperson for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. "We will begin traffic calming efforts in the community."
What the residents here really want is some kind of permanent traffic calming device, like a speed hump. For that, the county will have to perform extensive data collection, and even then, a device may not be installed — in many Tampa Bay-area communities, those devices are no longer funded by local government but instead paid for by neighborhood associations.