By: Sharon Aron Baron
This article below appeared in the Miami Herald back in October 14, 1984. Records were purchased through the Miami Herald archive service.
It shows us that traffic lights weren’t provided to the Woodlands without a fight. That is why I find it amazing that after all these years, the Woodlands still does not have a traffic light at the intersection of Sago Palm Blvd and Rock Island Road. This is a very busy intersection, so I contacted Tamarac Commissioner Harry Dressler who is our Delegate for the Metropolitan Planning Organization to see if he could initiate a traffic study. Unfortunately after several tries I did not receive a response. I then contacted Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman who is also our neighbor. She had me contact a traffic engineer to cordinate the study so I will keep you posted and let you know if this intersection qualifies for a traffic signal.
MARK OBMASCIK Herald Staff Writer
It took 15 minutes of speeches for the persistent Tamarac residents to say exactly what they wanted: a new stoplight at Commercial Boulevard and Woodlands Boulevard.
Their longwinded demand fell on the wrong ears. For members of the Broward Expressway Authority, charged with building the Sawgrass Expressway, don’t have the legal power to erect a stoplight five miles from their $200 million road.
That didn’t bother the Tamarac residents, however. They just changed their request, asking authority members to lobby the state Department of Transportation and County Commission for the stoplight.
“If you can’t put the stoplight up, I’d ask your help to get it put in,” City Councilman Alan Bernstein said. “We’ve been trying six years to get this light, and we can use all the help that’s available.”
Bernstein said traffic on Commercial Boulevard already is dangerously crowded, and will worsen when the Sawgrass Expressway opens. Morris Haber, a resident of the Woodlands subdivision, agreed.
“We have fear and anxiety that this expressway project will harm the safety of our people,” Haber told authority members. “If you don’t put a stoplight up, you’re sure going to have fatalities at the corner.”
Authority members said they sympathized with the residents, but couldn’t do anything for them.
“Unfortunately, what you want is out of our jurisdiction,” authority member George Allen said. “It’s a considerable distance from our project.”
When completed, the Sawgrass Expressway will begin near Bonaventure in a huge interchange with Interstate 595 and Interstate 75. The four-lane toll road will continue north along the Everglades Conservation Area through Sunrise and Tamarac, curving east near the edge of Parkland. The road will pass through Coconut Creek and end at Florida’s Turnpike near Deerfield Beach.