Friday, March 4, 2011
A sidewalk 'surprise' for McGregor residents
Written by Evangelia Ganosellis
Dan and Betsy Allen enjoy their morning
runs several times a week along the Royal
palm-lined McGregor Boulevard.
But they say their runs aren’t always
smooth or safe. The Allens have to cross
McGregor, traffic-packed in the morning,
twice to access a sidewalk, then to go back
The Florida Department of Transportation
has a plan to improve sidewalks along both
sides of the road and create new ones to
make walking, running and bicycling safer
on McGregor between College Parkway and
“It’s a really pleasant surprise,” said Dan
Allen, 67. “We’re impressed that someone’
s paying attention.”
FDOT officials have two alternative plans
for the four sections of McGregor,
beginning at College Parkway and ending
at Davis Drive.
One is to relocate 66 palm trees to place
sidewalks by the road. That plan would
cost about $458,000 in federal funds.
The other plan is to place sidewalks
alongside access roads that line McGregor,
which would make those roads one way
instead of two. That option would cost
A fifth project, which will be completed
separately from the other four, will
resurface the west side of McGregor from
College Parkway to Keenan Avenue and
add a four-foot paved shoulder and
That project will cost about $550,000 in
FDOT held a public information meeting
Thursday to show their design plans and
take feedback from residents. Officials are
encouraging residents to share thoughts on
the project and what approach they prefer.
“If people have a preference, that’s exactly
what we want to know,” said Debbie
Tower, FDOT spokeswoman.
The purpose of the projects, Tower said, is
to ensure pedestrians are safe.
Not everyone is pleased with the proposed
construction, which is set to begin early
Missy Ready, 60, lives off McGregor just
north of Davis.
She said access roads provide the same
safety sidewalks would.
“You’re stirring a pot that doesn’t need a
ladle,” she said.
But Matt Horton, 38, said he’s been waiting
for sidewalks since he moved off Keenan
12 years ago.
Horton said his wife hasn’t been able to
safely walk or bike to her job nearby since
they moved there.
“I’m glad to see that we’re here finally,” he