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Pensacola Beach improvements proposal goes to commissioners

PENSACOLA BEACH   --  Traffic conditions and the safety of pedestrians would be improved at Pensacola Beach under a large-scale proposal being considered by Escambia County Commissioners.

They are set to discuss the plan tomorrow.
The price tag for the first phase is about 430,000 dollars.
A crosswalk would be built in this area of Pensacola Beach Boulevard  under the plan.
   
It would connect with Quietwater Beach across the street.
It's just one part of the proposal and beachgoers say it would be more than welcome.

Katie Blackwell, Beachgoer/Mother: "People are constantly running and taking the risk."

Katie Blackwell says she enjoys taking her daughter to Quietwater Beach.
But she and other beachgoers feel the area needs improvements.

Katie Blackwell, Beachgoer/Mother: "Most of the time if I wanna go across the street, I put her in the car and drive her because I don't want to have to take the chance of having to run across."

Carroll Martin, Beachgoer/Grandfather: "During the summertime when it's bumper-to-bumper traffic  I mean people get out of there in front of cars and I've seen some near misses and a couple people get actually hit."

The proposed crosswalk would include safety lighting that would flash after pedestrians pushed a button.

Kaipo Robello, Owner, Aloha Wine & Liquor: "It's gonna increase my business."

Kaipo Robello, Owner, Aloha Wine & Liquor: "It'd be good for my business and Shaggy's and Innerlight and all the guys on this side of the beach."

Getting onto to beach would also be smoother under the plan.
The roadway leading up to and away from the toll stations would be widened and more signs would be put up to make it easier to get through the area.

Katie Blackwell, Beachgoer/Mother: "It would be great if it was more determined and you knew which way everyone was going to be going instead of crowding into those lanes so quickly."

The project would also add a new turn lane giving drivers easier access to businesses like Radical Rides and the Grand Marlin.

Carroll Martin, Beachgoer/Grandfather: "It's great. They've been needing to do it for a long time. Everything they do for the beach is gonna bring in more tourism and make it safer for the people comin' in and out of the beach."
   
Commissioners could vote on phase one as early as tomorrow.
If they move forward it will be finished in about ninety days.

We asked our Facebook Fans what traffic and parking improvements they would like to see on Pensacola Beach.

Creighton says.  "How about a huge parking garage? And more handicap parking near the beach for those of us who are disabled."

And Erin says.   "How about another emergency lane added to both of the bridges?  When car accidents happen, it's almost impossible to get to the beach."

Join the conversation at facebook.com/weartv.