Prevent another tragedy along Pinellas Bayway
  • Petitioned Rick Scott, Governor of FL

This petition was delivered to:

Rick Scott, Governor of FL

Prevent another tragedy along Pinellas Bayway

    1. Petition by

      Eckerd College

  1.  
  2.   
February 2013

Victory

Eckerd College: On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, state legislators made a formal statement announcing Florida Department of Transportation's approval of a new traffic control device at the entrance to Eckerd College was made in Tallahassee. There, they unveiled a rendering of the redesign of the intersection with a traffic signal.

On November 7, 2012, a beloved member of the Eckerd College (St. Petersburg, Fla.) community, Robert "Bob" Earl Shepherd, 85, died after exiting campus while turning left, heading westbound on the Pinellas Bayway leading to the Gulf beaches. Bob, who actively pursued public officials and others to advocate for a traffic signal at the entrance to campus, unknowingly foretold his death in 2001 when he said, "It's a tragedy waiting to happen."

As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, the traffic signal at Eckerd's front gate was removed in 1992 after "state transportation officials determined the area's traffic volume was too low to justify it." In 2001, Bob and his fellow Dolphin Cay neighbors heard the same thing after hosting an open forum, lobbying Florida Department of Transportation officials and providing them with a petition with 600 signatures.

In 2002, 2006 and again in 2009, Eckerd College petitioned transportation officials for a stoplight and was told that the area didn't qualify. In 2009, the College hired its own engineers who then determined that the entrance met the criteria. Still, we were denied. That same year, the City of St. Petersburg extended its City Trails bike path across Eckerd's front entrance.

Bob's death was preventable. An active roadway, a busy college entrance and a pedestrian/bike trail are a dangerous combination. We urge you to approve the installation of a traffic signal at the front entrance of Eckerd College to allow for safer turns on and off the Pinellas Bayway and to avoid future tragedies.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Eckerd College Traffic Signal: A Note of Thanks

      Last week, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) approved the installation of a new traffic control device at the entrance to Eckerd College. For those who are interested, the following link takes readers to a post in Eckerd's News Center which includes a message to the community from Eckerd President Dr. Donald R. Eastman III, commentary from elected officials, and news stories that have resulted from FDOT's announcement: http://bit.ly/signalnews

      Please join us in expressing our appreciation to those who made the traffic signal possible: Governor Rick Scott, Senator Jeff Brandes, Senator Jack Latvala, Representative Kathleen Peters '99, FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad as well as the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners, the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, and the St. Petersburg City Council. Their email addresses can be found here: http://bit.ly/signalcontacts

      Your support made a difference. Thank you!

    2. Our efforts have paid off!

      On February 13, 2013, at the State Capitol Building in Tallahassee, Senator Jeff Brandes, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad and Representative Kathleen Peters '99 (an Eckerd alumna) announced the approval of a new traffic control device at the entrance to Eckerd College. There they unveiled a rendering of the redesign of the intersection with a traffic signal.

      http://bit.ly/ecvictory

      It was, of course, the death of Bob Shepherd, who died in a car accident on the Pinellas Bayway after exiting campus November 7, 2012, that galvanized the ongoing efforts to secure this signal. In the wake of that tragedy, the Eckerd community pulled together to advocate through letters, petitions, phone calls and in-person visits with elected officials and administrators to realize Bob’s long-time goal of making Eckerd's entrance safer. We are grateful for the support and thoughtful response from everyone who worked tirelessly to make this possible. Thank you!

    3. Reached 4,000 signatures
    4. 5,000 Signatures by Friday, Nov. 30?

      Thank you for signing our petition! Because of your concern for the safety of those entering and exiting the Eckerd College campus, we reached our benchmark of 2,500 signatures in just a week's time. We want to up the ante and double our goal by the end of the month. Will you help us?

      If each one of us recruits just ONE more person to sign the petition by Friday, November 30, we will have 5,000 signatures and 1,000+ comments to accompany the petition letter that will be delivered to Florida Governor Rick Scott in December.

      Share this challenge with at least ONE colleague, friend, neighbor or family member and let's make the Pinellas Bayway a safer road to travel for everyone!

      Prevent another tragedy along Pinellas Bayway

      On November 7, 2012, a beloved member of the Eckerd College (St. Petersburg, Fla.) community, Robert "Bob" Earl Shepherd, 85, died after exiting...

    5. Reached 2,500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Leah Drennan BARRINGTON, IL
      • over 1 year ago

      I have just been accepted to Eckerd College and plan on attending this fall.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • samantha nelson SAINT PETERSBURG, FL
      • over 1 year ago

      I am a student and this is a very dangerous intersection. It is very hard coming and going to school sometimes multiple times a day.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bernadette Coughlin APT 508, FL
      • over 1 year ago

      public safety & avoiding another tragedy

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Randy Myers SANDY, UT
      • over 1 year ago

      It is the right thing to do because Public Safety is an obligation supports .

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Robert E. Johnson ST. PETERSBURG, FL
      • almost 2 years ago

      Entering and exiting DolphinCay is a terrible safety hazzard

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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