Slow Way is a tiny stretch of road, not even the length of a football field, at the back end of a Seminole Woods neighborhood at the south end of Palm Coast. Some residents there want the road permanently closed. This morning, the Palm Coast City Council voted 5-0 to do just that. But not without some opposition.
The sliver of road connects Slow Drift Turn to County Road 325, which crosses County Road 330 before ending at the once-infamous White Eagle Saloon intersection with U.S. 1. That intersection was among the county’s deadliest crash locations until the state Department of Transportation replaced its jagged vectors with a roundabout two years ago. It’s been quiet since.
But the link-up into the otherwise quiet Seminole Woods neighborhood allows some traffic to use 325 and Slow Way to give the lie to that street’s name. It’s been used as a shortcut.
“Slow Way has been a known concern as a roadway that brought aggressive long distance traffic through the surrounding neighborhoods,” a city memo to the council states. “Evidence of the aggressive driving included ruts in the northeast quadrant of Slow Way at Slow Drift Turn. Drivers left behind ruts from leaving the roadway making a right hand turn. In the previous 15 months, the City had replaced a knocked down stop sign and post in that quadrant four times. The residents stated they have made this same appeal to the City, approximately every two years, for the last 15 years.”
One resident of Sloganeer Trail said this morning he could not find anyone he knew who’d gotten the emailed invitation by the city for a neighborhood meeting. He said Slow Way is used by neighbors on County Roads 325 and 330. “Are they being considered also? Have they been surveyed? He asked. “The residents, myself included, often jog, walk and use Slow Way to access 330 and 325, because they’re lightly traveled roads,” he said. “For people who are using walking, bicycles, golf carts to travel that road frequently, what accommodations will be made?” He described the closure as a “huge impact” to local residents.
But another resident who lives on Slow Way sees it differently. “Children have been almost hit getting off the school buses,” she said. “The residents’ property is being destroyed, my neighbor has replaced his fence seven or eight times, my other neighbor has replaced his mailbox annually from people cutting through too fast on a road that is not capable of handling that sort of traffic. There’s incredible noise. There are semis that come through there, I have pictures, I have sat there and taken pictures of semis coming down 325. Those residential streets are not built for that kind of transportation.”
She said there’s been neighborhood meetings going back to October to discuss the issue.
Morton said the issue goes back many years and was raised with previous administrations. He said he received several emails from residents to visit the area, which was done with staffers and with Council member Nick Klufas, including a meeting with some two dozen residents, examinations of traffic patterns, public notifications of subsequent meetings and so on.
“We used our utility billing email addresses and geofenced the area of Slow Drift and Sloganeer,” Jason DeLorenzo, the city’s development director, said, “that produced 40 email addresses. We emailed them previous to our second on-site neighborhood meeting, which we held on the corner of Slow Way, then again we used the same email addresses again and sent out a notification for this meeting,” meaning today’s, “to make sure we touched as many residents as we could.” But not many people attended, either on Feb. 28 or today: there were just two people at the meeting held on the side of the road.
The city will be installing a gate and additional rubber-coated black fencing on either side to keep drivers from attempting to drive around the fence. There will be a 30-inch, Z-shaped opening in the gate for pedestrians and cyclists. “That’s to stop motorcycles from going through,” DeLorenzo said. “But pedestrians and bicycles will be able to go through.” The gate will also have a lock box that can be used by emergency responders to open it so vehicles can use the street when necessary.
Or is it just Me? says
Slow Way and Slow Drift Turn. Wouldn’t you like to get a hold of whoever named PC streets? And shake him/her?
I suggest a FlaglerLive contest for Most Ridiculous Palm Coast address.
Rick G says
This is idiotic… my wife and I go this way to visit our daughter and grandkids and have never experienced any traffic that would hinder the neighborhood.
What an absolutely idiotic thing to do. And the reason only 2 people attended the meeting is because no one was notified about it. Why use email addresses that are probably incorrect or no longer used instead of simply mailing notices to the neighbors? I use that dirt road frequently and have rarely ever encountered another car on it, so those traffic complaints are totally fabricated. That decision needs to be revisited by the Council AFTER residents are given proper notice, as required by law. Palm Coast is one of the most poorly run cities I have ever encountered. They seem to have all the time in the world to make life difficult for the residents. Pathetic!
Celia M Pugliese says
I still believe that the better solution would have been to install road soft humps to prevent speeding, discourage thru traffic and the danger to all, other than closing the road off. Same speed humps that are needed in Florida Park Drive to prevent the same issues destruction of mailboxes and vehicles parked on driveways and or killing of accidentally escaped dogs by hit and run and the intentional roaring of explosive engines midnight or early morning because the lack of proper mufflers. Sheriff reassures that speeders are being ticketed and are caught doing the same thing again like they do not care. Then the Speed Humps are needed before a tragedy ensues and someone is killed like happened in the Woodlands recently: https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=speed+humps+images&fr=mcafee&type=E211US91088G0&imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fukdrivingskills.co.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F11%2FSpeed-Humps.jpg#id=52&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fcurrentincarmel.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F08%2FCIC-COM-0809-Speed-Humps.jpg&action=click
That is stupid. because the city is lacking the infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of residents and traffic on its roads, people look to roads like 325 to use as a cut through to get to old dixie highway. I know I use it to get to my house in the area around Sugarmill when coming from the seminole woods park. instead of closing a road that is barely used, maybe they should reconsider improving the infrastructure around Flagler county, maybe pave and surface the road, add more posted speed limits, and considere better ways to get over 95 than the mere 5 that exist now? I’ve been conversing with people about making Citation cross I-95 onto old kings road. That project would only cost 10-15 million. but no, we’re building splash pads and “renovating” parks that just got renovated.
How does the City arrive at its priorities is puzzling. Florida Park Drive residents for 10+ years have “begged” for a resolution to speeding and excessive traffic that harms safety and health (traffic fumes/dust/noise). ITT designed the roadways to move traffic around the residential neighborhoods, “NOT THROUHG THEM”. ITT designed the traffic interchange between Palm Coast Parkway and Palm Harbor Parkway to happen at the intersection of the two parkways (not through the residential neighborhoods). The City abandoned this design when it added turn lanes from Palm Coast Parkway and Palm Harbor Parkway onto FL PK DR and allowed this residential neighborhood traffic volume to reach, according to FDOT, 8,400 cars per day (3 Million cars per year). Note: I asked for an investigation why this was allowed; silence from the city. The homes are just 60 feet from the road. This volume of traffic this close to homes is harming the health of all residents especially the children and elderly. Google “health and traffic in close proximity to homes”. See some of the health issues at: http://flpkdr.com/
Lol! What hypocrites!!! The only time there was traffic was when City of Palm Coast closed Seminole woods for a month, did nothing for 25 days out of it then dug a hole near Integra Woods apartments for 2 days and closed it in 1! That’s when our hypothetical government sent traffic in detour through Slow Drift. Before and after that you won’t see cars for hours.
And how is that compared to City pressure and threats they put on Sypress Knoll residents a few years ago to OPEN UP a street allegedly to have a route of escape in case of fire? Well, nobody ever cared about residents getting hurt in a fire! It was all big money trying to develop low income residential area and connect it to golf course section!
What about fire escape on Slow Drift? Bureaucrats don’t give a flying ….
Brian Butka says
Closing Slow Way will cost me $704.70 every year!
The closure of Slow Way adds 1.1 miles to my commute to the South. I currently use Slow Way to drive to work and back 5 days a week. On weekends there is a least one trip to Publix and one trip to Ormond Beach or pizza. That is 14 trips a week for me. My wife averages 4 trips through Slow Way a week. That is 8 trips a week for her and 22 one-way trips total for my family.
Each trip will now be 1.1 miles longer, so closing Slow Way will add 22 trips * 1.1 miles = 24.2 extra miles a week. The federal government figures that the cost for gas, depreciation, and maintenance for a vehicle is $0.56/mile. So I am being forced to spend an additional 24.2 * $0.56 or $13.55 of extra expense a week. Multiply this by 52 weeks a year means closing Slow Way will cost me 13.55*52 = $704.70 every year now and in the future.