Monday, September 04, 2006

Most Dangerous 25 MPH Road In Hendry?

County May Face Liability For Lack Of Speed Or Warning Signs?

LABELLE, FLORIDA -- On what may be Hendry county's most dangerous residential street, vehicles running into trees and light posts on the median are a commonplace incident neighbors say. Over the last several weeks, two concrete street light poles and one palm tree has been hit and knocked to the ground by out-of-control pickup trucks.

(photo: FPL repairman repairs line on downed concrete light pole along Birchwood)

Residents of Port LaBelle's Laurel Oaks have complained to the Hendry county engineer's office about speeding vehicles and lack of signs at the curve on Birchwood Parkway just north of State Road 80 on the way to the Port LaBelle Inn.  The two mile long four-lane road section crosses into Glades county north of SR80. The Hendry county road department has no speed limit signs or curve warning signs on the Hendry section where the roadway changes from Glades county to Hendry county.  A dangerous curve surprises drivers who speed north and south bound along the road and find the forty-five degree turn coming upon them. Drivers get into trouble northbound after turning north from State Road 80 onto Birchwood because there is no speed limit sign until after the forty-five degree turn in the road, where there's a 25-mph speed limit sign, but it's placed in the wrong place for a driver trying to negotiate the road at 35 to 45 mph.

Drivers hitting the light poles or one of the dozens of trees on the median have little recourse after their vehicle is towed away, which is happening at a good pace in recent weeks. So far there have not been any serious injuries to motorists, but Florida Power and Light crews are kept busy replacing the concrete poles, and local auto body shops are reaping the business of hapless drivers along Birchwood Parkway.


  1. Anonymous5:51 PM

    Maybe if these crackers weren't using Birchwood for their drunken "mudbogging" over weekends, this would be less of a problem! (Check out all the tire tracks in the median and around the old golf course) Let's face it...most people who use Birchwood regularly, are aware of its layout and limitations and the curve should come as no surprise. Considering the Lounge is closed at the hotel, it would be a stretch to blame the hotel for this, obviously impared, behavior. Therefore, most of this activity can be attributed to those who seek access to the river aound the Condos and the Ranchettes for their parties and are most probably showing off for their passengers. Additional signage is just a cya for the County.

  2. Anonymous9:36 AM

    While I've not ever (yet) contributed to these Birchwood accidents during my 12 years driving the road, I do suppose the time has come for me to slow down along that stretch as well. We all recognize that more people, more cars, more walkers, and more joggers means that we are no longer simply putting ourselves and common property at risk, but that someone could get seriously hurt now. Time for all of us to slow down. And with the CDD soon to fund both a Hendry and a Glades deputy for patrol duty in Port LaBelle, there will be someone there watching us to make sure we do what we know is best for everyone.