RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Frances Arenella has lived in Riverview less than a decade, yet the changes in her commute have been monumental.
"My commute then, when I left the community would take me... to get out of the front entrance....five minutes? Now? To get out of the entrance....it can take anywhere from twenty minutes to a half hour...depending on the time of day," she said.
Arenella is talking about the spot at U.S. 301 and Ayersworth Glen Blvd.
In the short time Arenella and her neighbors have lived there, U.S. 301 has grown from a two-lane road to the monster it is today. And it is still growing.
Getting out of their neighborhood safely is an issue.
"There's no turn lane. And these cars, once they pass Valencia Lakes, that's the only light down at Valencia. So, they see you ready to come out so they're hitting the gas. So you have to come out like a race car. You literally have to come out...and they get right up behind you if you go too slow," Arenella explained.
As happens many times, the drivers out of Ayersworth Glen have found their own way out. Instead of a left across heavy traffic, they'll dart out to the right, then use the parking lot at the nearby Publix to make a U-turn. Which creates a dangerous situation for anyone walking in the parking lot for groceries.
What is needed is a traffic signal, and according to Chris Wilkerson with Hillsborough County, they're working on a plan now.
"The county is currently in negotiations with the state to acquire land at this spot for a new fire station. If that happens there will definitely be a signal installed at the spot in question," Wilkerson explained.
As for the issue with U-turns at the Publix, Wilkerson said there is an easyt-west fly over in development now over 301 at Balm Rd. That would likely change the cycle of the signal there, creating more gaps in the traffic to the south.