Residents, businesses in Loxahatchee Groves preparing for speed limit change

Posted at 7:22 PM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 19:22:48-05

Call it a sign of the times in Loxahatchee Groves - One that Vanessa Hamann has been waiting for.

“It's way too fast out here,” she says.

Her farmers' market sits right on the stretch of road that town officials are bumping down from 45 to 30 miles per hour.

The new speed limit will stretch along 3 and ½ miles of Okeechobee Boulevard -  from Folsom Road all to way out to near Seminole Pratt Whitney.

“At least 5 wrecks a year here,” Hamann says. “There's too many people that's been hurt.”

The town says the change is necessary.

Officials cite a study done on that stretch of road that shows that 85% of drivers go 53 mph or more.

Vanessa says not only will the change benefit their safety, but also area business.

"They even miss our store because it's going too fast they don't see it,” she says. “I just think it will be a lot easier on everybody.”

Not everybody actually thinks it'll be easier - or that it will work.

“People don't really respect the speed limit, unless they see a police officer around,” resident Gilamar Barone says.

She says nearby Folsom Road, where there speed was recently reduced, has the same old speeding issues.

“It's not a busy road like Okeechobee. I don't know how it's going to work here where people are always in a hurry.”

Vanessa says it's worth the shot.

“I say give it a try. I mean, I think if it is slower, people are going to start paying attention.”

That change is set to take place on February 15th.

There are electronic signs up now warning people about the change, in the hope that everyone will be ready when the new signs are installed.