The next phase of work to address traffic on West University Avenue is set to start Tuesday morning as the Florida Department of Transportation begins installing four speed tables on the portion of the state road that runs along the UF campus.
The project will take the FDOT one to two weeks to complete, according to a press release from the agency. The work will be completed during the day, and motorists should expect lane closures as the speed tables are installed.
Speed tables are different from speed humps in that they are shorter—about 3 inches high—and longer—about 21 feet long. Motorist will need to slow to 25 miles an hour to cross the speed tables, according to FDOT.
The temporary speed tables, which were manufactured specifically for West University, will be installed in the following locations:
- Between Gale Lemerand Drive and Northwest 19th Street near the entrance to Ben Hill Griffin stadium
- East of Northwest 19th Avenue
- East of Northwest 16th Street
- West of Northwest 14th Street
The speed tables are part of a series of projects that FDOT and the City of Gainesville are planning for West University.
The traffic signals already have been retimed so that drivers cannot travel straight through on green lights. And the FDOT has already replaced brick paver crosswalks with special emphasis crosswalks to make the crosswalks and pedestrians in them more visible to motorists.
In the fall, FDOT also plans to install two midblock pedestrian crosswalks on the campus-portion of West University.
The FDOT also will study the effects of the speed tables on traffic speed in the West University Avenue area to determine if the state will permanently lower the speed limit on portions of the road.
FDOT controls changes to West University because it is part of State Road 26. However, the city commission authorized an engineering study of parts of West University Avenue and 13th Street to see if a redesign could improve safety and use of the roads near the campus.
In addition to changes to the road, Gainesville Police, UF Police and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office have set up a Special Traffic Enforcement Program on the roads in and around the campus, issuing additional tickets and warnings to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists who are not following current traffic laws.
Efforts to slow traffic and increase pedestrian awareness on West University were prompted by two student deaths in separate accidents last winter.