ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – After months of begging for changes, Pine Hills residents told News 6 their traffic concerns are still not being addressed with urgency.
Maira Gomez is the communications director for the Robinswood Community Improvement Association.
She said it feels like the county lacks concern for their neighborhood compared to communities in other cities, like Winter Park.
“I want them to treat this street, this community, as if it were the community where they drive day-in and day-out to their homes. I want them to treat it as if their children commute to school,” Gomez said.
Gomez said that last year, a crash at her home was the catalyst that moved her to advocate for safer roads in Pine Hills.
A car rammed into an accessory building in her backyard. It’s what she calls her son’s “man cave,” in which he plays video games.
“It was very scary because literally, the car crashed inches from where he had just been sitting,” Gomez said.
She said this is just one of multiple traffic incidents in her neighborhood.
In July, a crash happened at the intersection of Balboa Drive and Powers Drive.
“What I warned them was going to happen, happened. There was a three-car collision,” Gomez said.
She said the traffic stop line is so far up on the road, drivers cannot see the traffic signal above. She believes this has caused multiple accidents at the intersection.
A week after the crash, Gomez said engineers moved the line back, but she claimed it is still too far up for drivers to properly see the traffic light.
Friday evening, Gomez and News 6 Reporter Treasure Roberts witnessed a driver stop a couple feet behind the line in order to see the light.
“We put our trust in the tax-paid county workers who are supposed keep our roads safe, and they’re not doing it,” Gomez said.
“How can I sit here and observe as a resident that the white line is not where it’s supposed to be to the traffic signal, and someone who came out and did the job couldn’t do that?” she said.
In June, the Robinswood Community Improvement Association hosted a meeting regarding traffic concerns. They invited District 6 Commissioner Victoria Siplin, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Orange County’s chief engineer.
Residents asked officials to address the road safety issues, and officials assured them they would work on it.
Since that meeting, News 6 Reporter Treasure Roberts reached out to county officials for a progress check.
The sheriff’s department responded with this statement that reads in part: “Our deputies who work in that part of Orange County have been monitoring the area.”
Gomez sent News 6 this traffic mitigation report she received from Commissioner Siplin’s office.
However, the office notified her they will not be attending their upcoming community meeting, although residents hoped they would be in attendance to provide updates.
The next Robinswood Community Improvement Association meeting is scheduled for Thursday.