Gate arms which disappeared from an entrance on Meggison Road in The Villages were removed at the behest of the Developer, who concluded the arms were knocked down so frequently, it wasn’t worth replacing them.
Traffic on Meggison Road at Sawgrass Grove was once again front and center when residents of the Village of Cason Hammock and the Village of Citrus Grove packed the Community Development District 13 Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday morning at Everglades Recreation Center. The group had previously assembled Tuesday night in the same room to appeal for help from the Sumter County Commission. The Meggison Road situation has numerous parties involved, including the county, the City of Wildwood, The Villages District government and the Developer.
It had been believed that the gate on Meggison Road at the entrance to the Village of Citrus Grove is owned by CDD 13. However, that is not the case.
Deputy District Manager Carrie Duckett said the gate is owned and operated by the Developer. The gate arms were removed because they were frequently knocked down.
“They were getting knocked off on a regular basis,” Duckett said.
Keith Stephens of the Village of Cason Hammock said the removal of the gate arms “has exacerbated the danger” as traffic on Meggison Road is traveling faster than ever. Residents maintain it’s a very dangerous situation for golf carts, walkers and bicyclists trying to cross Meggison Road where it intersects with the multi-modal path.
Villagers said they suspect the gate arms were removed because the Developer was concerned about slowing down truck traffic heading on Meggison Road to the areas of new construction.
Duckett said the Developer is willing to start using the gate arms again.
The means the gate will operate in one of two modes:
1. Construction Mode. That means the gates will automatically open when a vehicle approaches, but will be used to slow down traffic.
2. Residential Mode. In that mode, cars passing through the gate will have to use a gate card or push a button.
Residents said they fear that Eastport and its new town square as well as the eventual opening of the Bexley Bridge will attract more traffic to Meggison Road.
Residents have vowed to continue to pressure public officials for help.
“Our safety concerns are not going away and we are certainly not going away,” Stephens said.