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The Villages
Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Residents blame rampant speeding for problems on Morse Boulevard

Residents are rejecting a potential $12 to $15 million revamp of Morse Boulevard to make it less dangerous.

They contend there is a much cheaper solution.

Speeding tickets.

Residents spoke out Thursday night at a special town hall meeting Thursday hosted by the Community Development District 1 Board of Supervisors at La Hacienda Recreation Center. The topic was the danger of Morse Boulevard north of County Road 466. The board had commissioned a six-figure study from Kimley-Horn Associates Inc., which proposed $12 to $15 million solutions to the dangerous intermingling of golf carts and automobiles on Morse Boulard.

Villager Patsy Oburn went to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office prior to the meeting and pressed them on speeding enforcement on Morse Boulevard. She suggested the placement of blinking signs showing motorists their speed.

“Go with the simplest solution,” Oburn said.

Like other residents, she said the $12 to $15 million pricetag proposed in the Kimley-Horn study is too high.

“I cannot support a $12 to $15 million improvement. I don’t want another bond,” Oburn said.

Other speakers lined up at the podium and expressed similar sentiments. Speeding was the top concern of residents.

Villager Sherrie Hyer collected more than 1,000 signatures in 2015 after 85-year-old Francis Cradock “Buck” Hughes was killed Jan. 13, 2015 when his golf cart was hit by a vehicle on Morse Boulevard.

Francis Hughes died when his golf cart collided with a van Jan. 13, 2015 on Morse Boulevard.

“We need the speed limit lowered,” she said.

Villager Terry Zerger said the Kimley Horn report proposed solutions that are far out of the financial reach of CDD 1 homeowners.

“There was no real effort to make this an affordable, doable project,” Zerger said.

Another cheap solution proposed by residents was more stop signs.

Dan Edelman said his golf cart was T-boned on Morse Boulevard and he believes a stop sign could have prevented the accident – and his extensive injuries.

He also faulted inaction by Sumter County, which owns Morse Boulevard.

“Someone’s got to start. Get started. No one else needs to get hurt,” Edelman said.

Supervisor Ellen Cora said she wasn’t ready to throw in the towel on the $12 to $15 million proposals to improve Morse Boulevard for golf cart travel.

She said residents should “demand what they deserve” from Sumter County.

“If they don’t do it, vote them out,” she said.

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