Being from the suburbs of Los Angeles, California, there are many things that don't bother me the way they do native Northwest Floridians. While I don't enjoy the heavy traffic we have during rush hour, I am more used to it.
It is with both anticipation and trepidation that I read Crestview is estimated to have a population of 43,000 by the year 2030.
The anticipation comes from new residents, meaning more potential friends and more businesses here in Crestview.
The trepidation is from foreseeing major gridlock unless the traffic issues get resolved. These new residents will not only need a place to live, but also need to be able to drive to the grocery store, church, jobs, schools, restaurants and so on.
Many of us read that the Crestview bypass has been approved, but when will this bypass be completed?
An article in the March 25 Crestview News Bulletin (https://bit.ly/2uAS3Hn) stated, "County officials plan to eventually spend a total of $25 million to $30 million on the bypass project, the overall cost of which is close to $200 million. County Public Works Director Jason Autrey recently said the county is leveraging its funding for the bypass with participation from the Florida Department of Transportation and Triumph to complete the upgrades."
Jim, my husband, and I have lived in Crestview for 15 years and have been told that traffic gridlock will be relieved "soon." Now that monies are available due to the half cent sales tax, apparently things can begin to move forward. How quickly can this project get started?
Crestview needs traffic relief now. Some days it is a nightmare to drive from one end of town to the other. Imagine what it will be like with more residents.
We don't need to wait years before this project is completed to help alleviate the daily congestion we face.
There are days it takes over 30 minutes to drive from Old Bethel Road south on State Road 85 down to Cracker Barrel, which is approximately 7 miles.
If the traffic situation doesn't change we will see people move away from the area because of it. Crestview residents don't want to have the gridlock usually associated with large metropolitan centers.
The charm of Crestview lies in our small town feel, which will be lost if we don't get a handle on the traffic issues.
Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.