SIESTA KEY (WWSB) - “It’s just getting more and more dangerous it seems,” said Dee Reams.
Reams has lived in her home near the dangerous curve at Siesta Drive and Higel Avenue for five years. She is Chairperson of Make Siesta Drive Safer which is a group pushing hard to make a two mile stretch of the road safer, especially at the curve.
“We learned from records from the city, police department and the county that there had been over 180 crashes in a two mile stretch for the past five years,” said Reams.
Reams tells us, of those crashes there have been at least four fatal accidents over the last two years near the area of the sharp curve, including a fatal motorcycle crash this past weekend. It’s a road that goes to and from Siesta Beach. FDOT says they have placed flashing signs on both sides of the curve indicating the speed limit is 25 miles per hour. Reams says the speed limit leading into the curve is 40 miles per hour.
“We’ve looked into the speed limit issue and have determined that this is right now as it stands the most appropriate speed to have for that road,” said Brian Rick, Public Information Specialist for FDOT.
Reams says the speed limit had been lowered temporarily awhile back from 40 to 30 following one of the fatal crashes, but it went back up to 40. She and other neighbors are hopeful it goes back down to 30 miles per hour. They are also looking to have crosswalks added at Shell Road as well as Hamilton Avenue, in addition to some other requests.
“We would like to see flashing lights and also some kind of physical improvements on the road, like a speed bump or something to slow these people down,” said Reams.
FDOT officials tell us they will be meeting with Sarasota County officials sometime next week to talk about how to make this road much safer.