by: Al Krier, Committee on Safety on Cimmaron
It all started over 1 1/2 years ago with an old man biking daily on Cimmaron Drive and connecting streets, after complaining so much about it to his kids. They finally said, "Why, don't you do something about it?"
So, the old man took off on his bike to find out what happened more than a decade ago, when the first Cimmaron study was completed.
It seemed like the safety program got started several times and always fell off the table, with other items taking priority.
So, the decision was made to go house to house to talk to residents who use Cimmaron Drive daily.
The positive support from the people was overwhelming. From walkers, walkers with pets, bikers, tri-bikers, joggers, runners, handicap people in walkers and wheelchairs, bus stop school children, motorists, etc., the most-heard comment was, "Cimmaron is an accident waiting to happen. How can I help?"
Very soon, a strong core of five people got involved for the house-to-house calls, council meetings, etc.
Shortly thereafter, there was a daily auto count completed by the city on Cimmaron, showing that over 3,000 vehicles use it, from 800 residents in five communities with 44 connector streets. Everyone must exit or enter the 1.2-mile Cimmaron Drive with only one exit and entrance available to them.
Soon the whirlwind with more volunteers started to gain momentum. Each connector street now has a person doing surveys and talking to other residents.
The 44 volunteers made over 700 survey house calls on their connecter streets and Cimmaron, and another 23 spoke at City Council meetings, doing so 72 times.
Palm Coast conducted two public meeting at the Community Center to get public reviews on Cimmaron. Over 175 Cimmaron-area residents attended these meetings.
A lot of good ideas were given to and from the city on the Cimarron situation. The Palm Coast City Council appropriated funds and a contract with England-Thims & Miller for a pedestrian feasible survey and study.
The best options were presented to the public and council.
One option was a 5-foot concrete sidewalk on the roadway easement. A Cinnamon Drive resident survey was completed by our group, with a 92% favorable approval (66 in favor) of a sidewalk. The survey information was relayed to the Palm Coast City Council and made part of the Safety on Cimmaron file.
Presently, the city and council are working to find funds to start the safety project and make needed streets into walkable communities.
The last leg of this project must be completed soon, as another traffic count was taken on Cimmaron, and the daily vehicle count has increased by hundreds a day.
In just the last year, new signs were installed for everyone using Cimmaron to be more safety-conscious. The police presence was increased greatly to control traffic speed.
The city personnel, sheriff's department and council are to be commended and thanked for these presently needed safety improvements.
This project should give the city of Palm Coast a gold star, as the state of Florida is number two in the United States in pedestrian fatalities and number one in the greatest increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2021.
Palm Coast is doing something about it by creating walkable communities. Cimmaron should be the first step in this movement.
Funding must be accomplished some way to make this happen soon and be the leader in creating walkable safe communities.
So far, this program is a perfect example of the silent majority (Cimmaron residents) of Palm Coast coming forward working with the city, City Council and sheriff's department in making Cimmaron a safe, walkable community in a civil manner.
Remember, it is for the people here and people here. They do vote and pay taxes.
The old man on the bike and army of volunteers are looking forward to a ride on the Cimmaron sidewalk in the not-too-distant future. Thanks everyone who will make this possible.