KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Over the past few months, City Council has pondered how to address the cumbersome and usually congested intersection of SR 100 and SR 21.
An analysis presented by North …
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – During the past few months, the City Council has pondered how to address the cumbersome and usually congested intersection of State Roads 100 and 21.
An analysis presented by North Florida TPO during a city council meeting in January offered some recommendations to improve traffic flow through the intersection based on guidance from the Florida Department of Transportation.
North Florida TPO proposed a dedicated right-turn lane going northbound on SR 21, where the vacant China Chef restaurant currently sits, improving traffic flow and reducing crashes by 12%.
Currently, the right turn is at a stiff 46-degree angle, which causes vehicles to slow down into the turn. The analysis said that slow turning movement leads to a higher probability of rear-end crashes. Residents agreed with that sentiment as they shared their difficult experiences behind the wheel.
The intersection was an area of particular concern for the former City Manager Lynn Rutkowski.
With City Manager Charlie Van Zant Jr. sworn in, the City Council voted 4-0 to allow the new city manager to begin negotiations to purchase the plot of land where the vacant China Chef restaurant currently sits.
The plot of land is owned by Rashaun Patel, who purchased the land for $240,000. In a gesture of goodwill, Patel offered to sell the plot of land for the original price and no interest.
“It’s no problem for me to sell to the city. I want to make the offer. I don’t want interest (payments) from you. It’s for the good of the city. I have no problem with how you handle it,” Patel said.
Council members Stephen Hart and Tony Brown discussed the offer and how to use the land best when purchased.
“(The property) will probably be best as a turn land for the highway. It’s a difficult turn, as testimony from the last meeting. Especially for trucks,” said Hart.
“We’ve kicked the can around… we as a city should jump on the opportunity,” said Brown.
“You guys are trying to do good things for the city, and I’m happy to help,” Patel said.
A deal will likely be ironed out during the city council workshop on Feb. 28 at 8 a.m. The workshop will also discuss the Smart City Plan, the parks plan and vandalism in city parks.
At the workshop, Mayor Nina Rodenroth plans to share statistics on how much vandalism has financially burdened the city. She hopes to discuss possibly kickstarting a community-led task force to address the issue.