Letter to the editor: Resident opposes Fleming Island street lights

Posted

Thanks for all you do for Clay, keeping us informed about what goes on in our community.

We were very concerned to read “Roadway lights coming to the island” in the Clay Today on March 2nd. The FDOT is planning to put up 158 light poles along Highway 17. Over $1.5 million of taxpayer funds will be spent to fill a need that doesn’t even exist; in fact, many of us believe that it will be to the detriment of the community.

We received state funding for the wetlands at Moccasin Slough. This was to keep the park/ preserve as a healthy habitat for the animals that live in the wetlands and provide a valuable undisturbed area for fauna and flora right here on Fleming Island. Bright lights would be disruptive to this habitat. (As well as to our night sky.)

These lights won’t be just the initial tax outlay. There will be upkeep and electrical costs for years. That would be fine IF it was for a good reason, but it isn’t.

These expenditures are under the guise of “safety,” despite the fact that almost all of the accidents have been during the day. And the area with the most accidents and fatalities is at the County Road 220 intersection and further south, not where the lights are going in. In fact, having more free standing poles just 12 fet off the road may lead to a safety issue for those cars that deviate off the road.

The article also mentioned that it will be good for bikers, but there is heavy foliage and trees between the road and the trail in many places. So, bikers and walkers would still need a light at night to see the Bike Trail.

Is this just another politician/bureaucrat attempt to find ways to waste our tax-payer dollars?

Thank you for listening,

Jim and Virginia Collins

Fleming Island

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