Residents endure while waiting for developments to Old Bainbridge Road
By Shamara Bizzle
Road safety is one of the topics Tallahassee residents are becoming concerned about. With daily trips to work, school, or even the grocery store, being cautious is a priority. Now there are other elements that residents are becoming concerned about — especially those who commute on Old Bainbridge Road.
Primarily, they worry about the ditches that line both sides of the narrow road.
Bridgette Elliot usually travels north bound on Old Bainbridge Road to return home and described her commute route as nerve wrecking.
Maneuvering traffic and avoiding the pitfall of slipping into a ditch has become the norm for her.
“It’s extremely narrow and doesn’t have a lot of street lights,” she said. “So at night it’s really hard to see.”
Elliott suggested that widening the road and covering the ditches should be a part of future improvements.
“With it being so narrow and then you have those ditches, it’s kind of nerve-wrecking when you’ve got a lot of cars and traffic,” she said.
Residents of that area aren’t the only ones concerned about the road either.
Housing development along the road is adding to the congestion and risky foot commute. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by Bo Brantley, who manages an apartment complex in the area.
“The traffic from High Road coming onto Old Bainbridge and Stone Road gets a lot of attention,” said Brantley. “It keeps that main flow of Old Bainbridge, which is probably the most important one, from being able to flow.”
But county officials say more new structural developments are coming soon for the Bainbridge route.
“There will be a private toll that’s put in that space over time,” said Mathieu Cavell, director of media relations for the county. “What that’s going to do is connect that section of Old Bainbridge and Meridian,” he continued.
The County’s Chief of Engineering Design, Charles Wu, said that improvements on Old Bainbridge Road will begin in the near future.
“The Old Bainbridge Road from US 27 (North Monroe Street) to the County Line will be improved with the approved Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds,” said Wu.
The funding for design of the project will become available in the fiscal year of 2019, which is the beginning of July 2018.
“This project will address lane departure crashes, flatten side slopes near curves, add two foot paved shoulders through curves, improve some roadside drainage, upgrade and pavement marking, and install guardrails,” he said.