It is no secret that the “Five Points” Intersection in Pace Florida needs fixing. Anyone who has driven from Milton on Berryhill Road to Pace is painfully aware of this. Santa Rosa County commissioners developed a grand plan several years back to spend $50 Million dollars on this intersection and subsequently widen (the already recently widened) Woodbine Road which connects Berryhill Road with Highway 90 in Pace.
Without going into the messy details, we can now say this plan has been abandoned for the time being and likely will not be revived for several years. The original plan was of somewhat dubious origin anyway in the minds of some.
The problem is, travelers in the North Pace area called “Five Points” are no better off today than they were five years ago, still wasting time and gas waiting to get onto Chumuckla/Woodbine Road from Berryhill Road. There is likely better way to alleviate the problem that most old-line politicians would never consider: An easy, inexpensive solution to immediately allieviate much of the problem that can serve as a first step to the original grand plan.
This solution may actually serve well enough that no further millions need be soent for another decade or more. This is a solution that can easily be done with existing county road crews in just a few days, or couple of weeks at most and comparatively minimal expense.
Let’s face it, many dollars are now being spent to pave the county’s seldom traveled backroads, while thousands a day suffer unnessesary delays on the busier county roads.
You see, Santa Rosa Commissioners have already spent a couple of million dollars buying a strip of land for the new roadway of the “grand plan” just north of Five Points to realign the intersection and add another traffic light (a somewhat questionable idea in itself). But, with the downturn in county revenues, Santa Rosa Commissioners abandoned the scheduled $25 Million first phase of the previous plan.
So now why don’t we go ahead and use the strip of land already purchased to move Berryhill Road, which now feeds into the congested “Five Points,” a block to the North, effectively moving the present “Stop Sign” a block North of its present location? This would give additional space for about 40 cars to merge onto Chumuckla/Woodbine: No more waiting forever for the Five Points congestion to clear, or straining to see around cars turning onto Berryhill from Chumuckla/Woodbine.
The Berryhill traffic would be moved away from the congested area and drivers would have much more room to merge onto the Chumuckla/Woodbine corridor and the existing right lane of Berryhill leaving Five Points can be left in place for traffic heading East from Pace toward Milton. This would eliminate the present line-of-sight problem for Berryhill drivers trying to see what is coming from the left as they turn onto Chumuckle/Woodbine.
There is no need for an additional traffic light as was proposed in the previous grand plan. (Lord knows there are way too many lights in Santa Rosa County already, why add another if we really don’t need it?)
Okay, all this might not sound very clear right now, and a picture will be worth 1000 words: I’ll try to get to that later.
Please, ring the county commissioners, tell them to use some simple, inexpensive solutions to make Santa Rosa life and roads much better.
Better Ideas? Let’s hear them! But please, try to come up with ideas that will make our lives in Santa Rosa County better, and that includes lowering taxes and reducing governmental spending, as paying higher taxes absolutely does not contribute to living a better life.