Revised CR-30A speed limits, corridor alternative evaluations, other traffic study recommendations approved

Following up on a number of recommendations from the recently-completed CR-30A Traffic Study, the county commission has approved a number of those, including revised speed limits for CR-30A.
The study, the most recent of several applying to the county road, was provided by the Atkins company.
The Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) action on the recommendations, presented by Chance Powell of Walton County Public Works Engineering, took place at the Feb. 14 regular BCC meeting at the South Walton Annex.
Recommendations applying to speed limits were summarized by Atkins as “Consider setting a maximum speed limit along CR-30A of 35 MPH due to the significant vulnerable road user usage,” and “Consider revising speed zones to the layouts presented in order to promote consistent traffic regulation within the corridor.”
The commissioners approved and authorized implementation of the recommended speed limits by unanimous vote on a motion by District 1 Commissioner Bill Chapman.
Also approved at the Feb. 14 meeting were signage and pavement marking recommendations from Atkins, providing for uniform design of pedestrian crossings, with a higher standard of crossing layout, including radio frequency flashing beacons, in areas where the multi-use path crosses CR-30A.
In addition, the BCC voted to have Atkins proceed with evaluation of two corridor alternatives presented as options in the study. These included: Alternative 4, a new east-west route connecting CR-395 with CR-30A between the CR-30A bridge crossing of Eastern Lake and Eastern Lake Road; and Alternative 1, a new north-south route located east of CR-395 connecting U.S. 98 with CR-30A.
Evaluation of the corridor alternatives will include impacts of the routes and needs in connection with congestion relief.
Specific locations for the potential routes have not been identified.
Celeste Cobena, a Santa Rosa Beach resident and advocate for preservation of Walton County public lands, addressed the commissioners at the meeting with reference to the potential road connecting U.S. 98 and CR-30A. She urged against the road being routed through Deer Lake State Park or Point Washington State Park, “the biggest piece of conservation land that we have.” Instead, she suggested that the road be located along the east end of the forest border on St. Joe Company property.
Chapman discussed working with the St. Joe Company and the Florida Forest Service on the latter possibility.
In voting to approve the corridor evaluations, the commissioners included having Atkins look at the far east boundary for the road location as suggested by Cobena.