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For Palm Coast, Florida Park Drive’s Heavy Traffic Is an Old Bane Without Ready Solutions

| January 26, 2015

Beyond increasing speed limit enforcement on Florida Park Drive, Palm Coast officials say other proposals to reduce traffic merely transfer it without resolving the problem. (© FlaglerLive)

Beyond increasing speed limit enforcement on Florida Park Drive, Palm Coast officials say other proposals to reduce traffic merely transfer it without resolving the problem. (© FlaglerLive)

Florida Park Drive is the traffic bane of Palm Coast. The two-lane north-south road demarcates the F Section to the west and the C Section to the east, running from Palm Coast Parkway to Palm Harbor Parkway. Unlike almost all other streets in the city, Florida Park Drive is both a collector road, taking traffic from more than a dozen streets, and a residential road whose homes and front yards hug the street, leaving little room for sidewalks, play—or expansion.


“Florida Park Drive is one of the few, I would say, mistakes that ITT put together when it came to streets,” City Manager Jim Landon said last week. “We’ve acknowledged that.”

The mistake hasn’t stopped residents of Florida Park Drive from periodically appearing before the council to complain about the traffic, the noise, the risk to children, even the risk to health from vehicle fumes, as one resident did last week. But the manager and the council had little new to promise by way of help, other than, perhaps, a resurfacing that could cut down on the noise level.

“For 14 years the traffic on Florida Park Drive has not been controlled not at all,” Steve Carr, the latest of Florida Park Drive plaintiffs, told the council. He claimed (without providing specifics) that in 2003 the city could have taken measures to control traffic on the road, but didn’t. In 2008, he said, the city  “declared it a major road, so that now, not only do we have car traffic, we have 18-wheelers, big trucks coming through there,” he said. “This was a conscious decision of the city to harm the residents of Florida Park Drive. There’s no other way any of us who live there can see it any other way.”

The claim is difficult to sustain: Palm Coast’s mayor lives on one of the streets that flow into Florida Park Drive. But the city doesn’t dispute that the street is more heavily trafficked than it would like. Carr says 8,000 cars and 528 trucks drive through it every day.


A mistake in road design dating back to the ITT days, but without an applicable solution today.


“So give the residents of Florida Park Drive some help, and we need it now,” Carr said. “We don’t need it tomorrow, we need it today. So, a lot of you all didn’t have anything to do in making the decisions that came along with Florida Park Drive, but I put it to the city council today, come up with a solution to cut the traffic down on Florida Park Drive.”

Landon said the city hasn’t been inactive. It’s increased enforcement of speeding (including the installation of what has become a semi-permanent electronic sign that reminds drivers of their speed as they pass by).

The city has looked at other solutions, such as making it one way or making it a dead-end. But that merely transfers the traffic to other residential areas, Landon said.

Heidi Shipley, one of the two newcomers to the city council, has asked the city to perhaps resurface the street with a different type of asphalt that could reduce or absorb noise a bit more. The city’s traffic engineer is studying the matter.

Reducing or eliminating truck traffic will not happen, however. “We always discourage truck traffic,” Landon said of through traffic. “It’s very difficult because most of the truck traffic on that street is going to that neighborhood. You can’t prohibit trucks from delivering in that neighborhood. Some of that includes Palm Harbor. But it’s still considered local traffic and we could not prohibit truck traffic that is local.”

City council members have been sympathetic to residents’ complaints, but limited with regards to what they can do. “There doesn’t appear to be a solution that is legal for the city to do relative to the volume of traffic on Florida Park Drive,” council member Bill McGuire said. “Obviously the council is receptive to suggestions that can be done legally. But we haven’t found any yet.

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12 Responses for “For Palm Coast, Florida Park Drive’s Heavy Traffic Is an Old Bane Without Ready Solutions”

  1. Road Master says:

    I got it…. a 6 lane over-pass clover leaf….DONE !!!

    • Steven Carr says:

      Under ITT FL PK DR was peaceful and quite, very little traffic. After 2001 all the City building projects in the area added traffic to FL PK DR. The traffic fumes and traffic noise has created a health hazard for residents. The fumes from the 8,000+ car per day and 528+ trucks per day (Numbers from FDOT) is ending up in the homes for the homes are only 45 feet from the road. I have had 7 neighbors around me die. Can traffic fumes kill you? Research and see what the World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency say about Traffic Fumes and Health. You can find references to their research on FLPKDR.COM. Bottom Line: It’s about people; it’s about their health; it’s about their lives.

  2. m&m says:

    I’ve driven tihs street at the speed limit and have been past by local residents. After they pass they will pull into their driveway a couple blocks later. I have no sympathy for any of the whiners bacause their neighbors are the biggest violators..

  3. gmath55 says:

    It’s increased enforcement of speeding (including the installation of what has become a semi-permanent electronic sign that reminds drivers of their speed as they pass by). LOL, LOL, LOL

  4. T says:

    What the City needs to do is buy all the houses on one side of the street then widen the road.

  5. orphan says:

    Perhaps if people actually researched an area prior to locating there…

    Honk honk-beep beep, CRASH!!!!

    I was just thinking…

    btw: Does anyone with a brain actually believe that the addition of a third lane of traffic is going to help solve the current mess between Fl Pk and the Cypress intersections with PCP? No? Anyone?

    The present and future persons making critical decisions for the overall health of this city need to think BIG and very much long-term!
    Flagler County residents as a unit need to be able to go from A1A to US1 w/out having to put their vehicles in ‘park’ as I do at Fl Pk, Old Kings, I95 and Cypress Point Parkway! It’s WAY past time to be thinking about overhead ‘flyovers’ and damn the cost!

    Honk honk-beep beep, CRASH!

    • Billy Bob says:

      Notice the traffic lights are all timed to turn red just as you approach each of those intersections (one red light to the next is the best you can do), maximizing traffic congestion and amplifying idle / gas guzzling at each light. Multiply that by the tens of thousands of cars who drive that stretch of road every day.

      The third lane could actually help, but only if the lights are sequenced to green so that once you start at one end you can drive green lights through to the other end. That’s the only way you are going to keep traffic from backing up from light to light as it does now. Otherwise we’ll have a 6 lane parking lot instead of just a 4 lane parking lot.

      Some of these things really don’t seem so difficult to fix or improve. I always assume that someone in power is doing things in an abnormal way for some financial or political gain that I am not privy too. I don’t think even blind incompetence could explain it.

  6. Mary in FL says:

    Eminent domain – buy out all the homes on one side ofr the other, tear them down and widen that train-wreck of a road. It’s the ONLY solution. If the residents don’t like that, they need to shut up or move. There is nothing else that can be done.

  7. Billy Bob says:

    I make multiple daily trips between Matanzas High School and Colbert Lane / Daytona State College. There is no less painful path than taking Florida Park Drive. I’ve tried all the other options and they are all worse due to time and distance.

    If the interchange was constructed at Matanzas Woods & I-95 I could just hop on I-95 for one exit and avoid the miserable Florida Park Drive altogether. I might never have any reason to drive on Florida Park Drive again, and I bet I’m not the only one who drives it because it’s their only option.

    I would much rather take I-95!

    Just because we haven’t had a major hurricane or forest fire recently doesn’t mean it won’t happen. That interchange needs to be completed sooner rather than later for many different reasons, and I believe a direct reason would be a minor, yet significant reduction in traffic on Florida Park Drive.

    “There doesn’t appear to be a solution that is legal for the city to do relative to the volume of traffic on Florida Park Drive” council member Bill McGuire said. I hope that he reconsiders that statement and helps move the Matanzas Woods I-95 Interchange closer to reality.

  8. Fl park resident says:

    I am shocked at how rude and callous some of these comments are. Some bought prior to the traffic becoming as big of an issue, and no one expected children to be in danger from reckless drivers. The new shopping center will only add to the congestion. Turning a blind eye to your neighbors and saying nothing can be done is unacceptable. Palm Coast will continue to grow and if traffic is not managed, then other streets may be next as a high volume through street. An exchange is a great idea. Widening may not be possible as FL Park sits on a major archeological site and many artifacts may be disturbed. If the city wants to buy our homes, many would welcome it.

  9. Susan Ryff says:

    put in speed humps..wide one’s.. they work

  10. Michael says:

    Sorry, but if you buy a house near an airport do not complain about the noise, you buy a house on a street with a double yellow line and a major connection road then deal with the traffic. People buy houses in ares such as these at a good price, well that price comes with some set backs.

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