CRESTVIEW Residents took notice when a county crew raised the flashing emergency traffic signal this week at the intersection of P.J. Adams Parkway, Villacrest and Ashley Drives.


CRESTVIEW Residents took notice when a county crew raised the flashing emergency traffic signal this week at the intersection of P.J. Adams Parkway, Villacrest and Ashley Drives.



Bill Cox who last year ran for the Crestview City Council on a platform of resolving P.J. Adams' traffic problems saw the workers as assurance the busy road is still on the county's radar.



"I'm anxious to get an update on the plans," Cox said. "It appears the funding is falling into place for at least one segment from State Road 85 up to Ashley Drive. The second segment is from Ashley up to I-10. I see those two segments coming together in the near future."



A Jan. 30 Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization meeting, with P.J. Adams improvements on the agenda, was canceled due to the ice storm. It has not been rescheduled.



As for the drooping light, a county crew responded to city officials' request to raise it, as P.J. Adams is a county road, county engineer Jason Autrey said.



For more than a year, rumors have suggested the flashing emergency light would be converted to a functioning traffic signal, or that a new light would be installed farther east at Villacrest, Key Lime Place and P.J. Adams. During morning and evening rush hours, residents of Country View Estates and surrounding neighborhoods are often trapped by a seemingly endless flow of P.J. Adams traffic.



A 2012 P.J. Adams traffic study suggested activating the light was a less expensive alternative to installing a temporary signal at the intersection with Villacrest's east entrance and Key Lime Drive. But changing the flashing emergency signal to a functioning traffic control light probably wouldn't occur now that state funding has been found to widen the road, Autrey said.



"It's a synchronization issue," he said. "Wild Horse (Drive) is just too close."



Wild Horse, just west of Ashley Drive, currently has a traffic light. Adding another light so close would stymie traffic flow, Autrey said.



However, relief is on the horizon.



"We are getting ready to start the widening process (of P.J. Adams Parkway) and there will be some signalization plans with that," Autrey said.



That's good news for residents like Cox.



"I'm anxious to see anything moving relative to P.J. Adams," Cox said. "The statistical numbers show us right at a 6 percent per year increase in traffic, and the pavement is falling apart."



Increased traffic includes tractor-trailer rigs and other heavy trucks that use the P.J. Adams and Antioch Road corridor as a bypass between State Road 85 and U.S. Highway 90.



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