Safety Issues Regarding the Island Fire Station Located on the A1A Curve.

• The Saint Augustine Fire House (Island Station) is located on the corner of Red Cox Dr. and SR A1A. This area of SR A1A is four-lane highway with a median located on a deadly curve at the unsignalised intersection of Red Cox Dr..

• During Emergencies, Paramedics and Fire Personnel must wait patiently at the intersection of this unsignalised and deadly curve, until drivers, travelling both North and South on SR A1A (a four-lane highway), can stop and allow emergency services to enter the intersection. The seconds wasted waiting as dozens of cars pass by at 40+mph, means precious time to someone whose life depends upon the quick response of these emergency (“first”) responders.

• Per “Table 3.4-1. Minimum Traffic Volumes” located in Section 3.4 (page 16) of the FDOT Traffic Engineering Manual, the minimum number of vehicles of 9,000 vehicles per day passing through the Intersection of SR A1A and Red Cox Dr., more than qualifies to have an “Emergency Traffic Control Signal” installed to allow these emergency vehicles to safely egress onto SR A1A.

• The “Field Inventory” conducted by FDOT in 2019, showed the 24-hour traffic volume at the Intersection of SR A1A and Red Cox Dr. to be “21,500 vehicles per day.” This volume of “21,500 vehicles per day” is significantly greater than the 9,000 ADT required to meet the “minimum” requirement to warrant an “Emergency Traffic Control Signal” at this intersection.

• The Fire House is located on an unsignalised and deadly curve that is obscured by numerous visual obstacles, as drivers’ round the A1A curve at 40+mph. Little time is afforded to drivers rounding this curve to see and recognize that an emergency vehicle has pulled out of the station and is attempting to egress onto SR A1A. Drivers are afforded no warning signal or devices, and little time to make the judgement of whether they have enough time to slam on the brakes, or to speed past the fire station.

It takes the average driver 1-1/2 seconds to interpret and react to a potential collision, and then to apply the brakes. At 50 mph, a car travels 110 ft. before the driver applies the brakes, and then travels an additional 119 ft. while skidding to a stop, for a total of 229 feet. The distance between the viewpoint shown in the photo below and Red Cox Dr. where the Fire Station is located, is 200 ft.

Drivers’ viewpoint of the Fire Station at a 200 foot distance from the Fire Station at the intersection of Red Cox Dr. and SR A1A. Viewpoint shown is that of a driver in the right-hand Northbound lane traveling Northbound around the curve located on SR A1A.
Drivers’ viewpoint of the Fire Station at a 300 foot distance from the Fire Station, located at the intersection of Red Cox Dr. and SR A1A. Viewpoint shown is that of a driver in the left-hand Northbound lane traveling Northbound at 40+mph around the curve located on SR A1A with traffic in front of the driver. Drivers traveling Northbound on SR A1A in the left-hand lane beside, and slightly behind, a larger vehicle traveling at the same speed in the right-hand lane have their vision of the fire house obscured by the larger vehicle traveling in the right-hand lane, and as a consequence, have even less time to make a decision.

Suggested Solution(s): (1) An “Emergency Traffic Control Signal” should be installed at the intersection; (2) Landscaping and Park Signage should be removed entirely, moved to a different location, or significantly reduced in size to provide drivers coming around the curve with “Clear-Sight” of the Fire Station; (3) The words “Slow” accompanied by a curved “Arrow” should be painted in white paint on both Northbound lanes of SR A1A (see sample photo below); (4) The current recommended (yellow) speed sign of 30mph in front of the Surf Station on SR A1A, should be replaced with a permanent Speed Radar Sign (see sample photo below), along with a blinking yellow light atop the recommended (yellow) speed sign of 30mph; (5) Rumble strips should be painted (in white paint) across both Northbound lanes of SR A1A to alert inattentive drivers of a “downstream decision point” as they approach the deadly curve.

Video shows traffic approaching the Fire Station at a 300 foot distance from the Fire Station, located at the intersection of Red Cox Dr. and SR A1A. Viewpoint shows drivers in both lanes traveling Northbound at 40+mph around the curve located on SR A1A.
Suggested Solution(s): Install a permanent “Speed Radar Sign,” accompanied with a blinking yellow light atop the recommended (yellow) speed sign of 30mph;
Suggested Solution(s): Install a permanent “Speed Radar Sign,” accompanied with a blinking yellow light atop the recommended (yellow) speed sign of 30mph;
Suggested Solution(s): Paint the words “Slow” accompanied by a curved “Arrow” in both Northbound lanes of SR A1A upon approach to the deadly curve (sample photo).
Sample photo of Suggested Solution(s): “Transverse Rumble Strips” that are raised or grooved patterns installed perpendicular to the direction of travel to provide drivers with an audible and tactile warning of a downstream decision point (photo courtesy of Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology).

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