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The Villages
Friday, June 21, 2024

Officials can’t agree on oversight of multi-modal paths in The Villages

Officials can’t agree on uniform oversight of the multi-modal paths in The Villages.

Property Owners Association President Cliff Wiener has worked for years to resuscitate and try to keep alive the frequently floundering Multi-Modal Path Discussion Group.

“The residents are highly interested in this topic,” said Wiener, who also serves as chairman of the Community Development District 4 Board of Supervisors. “Safety is the No. 1 issue.”

It appeared that Wiener’s plea had gained traction with longtime Project Wide Advisory Committee member Peter Moeller who had proposed drafting a charter to bring some formality to the ad hoc group, which in the past has included representation from community development districts across The Villages. However, when Moeller’s charter idea was put before PWAC, which includes CDDs south of County Road 466, the idea was pooh-poohed as another layer of unnecessary government.

Earlier this month, CDD boards north of County Road 466, were critical of the notion that if the Multi-Modal Path Discussion Group continues to meet, PWAC would be represented as a single entity and not by each of the CDDs south of County Road 466.

A bad taste was left in everyone’s mouth several years ago when the Multi-Modal Path Discussion Group took on the contentious issue of striping the multi-modal paths. The bitterness ran so deep that the body adjourned and did not even attempt to reconvene for quite some time.

Former District Manager Richard Baier got involved in 2018 and the group was successful in the placement of way-finding signage across The Villages. Thus, there have been some successful efforts by the Multi-Modal Path Discussion Group.

Amber Gartner of Kimley-Horn & Associates Inc., left and District Manager Richard Baier in 2018 reviewed the way-finding signage that was later placed throughout The Villages.

Wiener continues to implore individual boards to rejoin the group. Wiener’s goal is to get all CDDs back on board. The multi-modal paths are owned by the CDDs in which they are located.

“You owe it to your residents to take their safety seriously,” Wiener told the Community Development District 5 Board of Supervisors Friday morning at SeaBreeze Recreation Center.

He’s starting to get some support in anticipation of another gathering of the group.

“It is an important topic,” said CDD 5 Board Chairman Gary Kadow. “I think it would be a good idea for the districts to work together on this.”

The group’s next meeting is set for August at Savannah Center. It’s unclear which boards will be represented.

What issue concerns you most about the multi-modal paths? Speed? Safety? The growing types of vehicles we are seeing on the paths? Share your thoughts at letters@villages-news.com

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