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Crashes keep piling up at dangerous Jupiter intersection, 1 year until county constructs roundabout

Posted at 3:58 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 17:42:38-04

JUPITER, Fla. -- There is no immediate relief in sight for drivers who must cross a dangerous intersection in Jupiter. There have been more than 25 crashes at University and Central Boulevards in the last year. The town of Jupiter says its hands are tied; it's a county road. Palm Beach County put up flags to alert drivers that there are stop signs if you're going east and west, but people say that's just not enough. 

Seeing crashes outside of his apartment complex no longer shocks Brian Dooley. 

"In the last three months, I've come home twice now to where the intersection has been blocked," said Dooley. 

The intersection of University Boulevard and Central Boulevard is a heavily traveled one, lodged between a residential area and Roger Dean Stadium. 

"Really, we walk around the community because it's part of living at the Sophia near Abacoa, was to be able to walk over to the shops or walk over to dinner, see a baseball game at Roger Dean Stadium," said Dooley. 

But Dooley does not feel safe walking anymore; especially with two small children. 

"Almost been hit a couple times," he said. 

The intersection is sandwiched between two roundabouts. The speed limit is 45 mph and there are two one-way lanes for northbound traffic on Central Boulevard separated by a median and then two one-way southbound lanes. The tricky part is that to go east and west, you have to go through two stop signs and sometimes drivers turn the wrong way on Central Boulevard. 

Palm Beach County's traffic division says the wooded medians between the north and southbound lanes of travel on Central Boulevard present a challenge. They limit the possibility of designs for the confusing intersection.

The solution the county has is to break ground next year on another roundabout for the area. 

The roundabout design is the first of its kind in Palm Beach County. It's a lazy eight design and it's supposed to slow down traffic, but it won't be constructed until 2019. 

"The county needs to do something before the roundabout because, in the next year, I could be crossing with my foster son and think I have enough clearance and somebody not slow down in enough time," added Dooley. 

Locals say they do see Jupiter police patrol cars parked near the intersection at times to slow cars down. The county's traffic division says it has conducted speed studies on the road before and 45 miles per hour is the appropriate speed for the stretch. 

County traffic engineers say a traffic signal would not solve the crash problem at the intersection; instead, they say research shows it would create other types of crashes.

Dooley says he'd like to see flashing lights at the crosswalk signs like other parts of Abacoa have. 

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