By Deborah Goonan
Now that school is back in session in Florida, getting the children to and from school has become a divisive issue in Hollowbrook HOA in Casselberry. The community has a sidewalk shortcut to the rear of the Red Bug Elementary School. This issue: parents from outside the Hollowbrook community have discovered the shortcut, and are apparently causing traffic problems dropping off and picking up their children. You can read about it here:
HOA and parents at Seminole Co. elementary school at odds over short cut
Here’s a Google Maps overview of the area:
If you look closely, you can identify the narrow sidewalk at the northeast corner of the school’s property, leading up to St. Lucie Dr.
For a moment, let’s look at the Big Picture. First of all, why is the only road entrance to the school on Busy Red Bug Lake Rd? There might have been a secondary entrance from Dodd Rd., but that would have meant eliminating a few of those tightly packed homes, right?
The price we pay for curvalinear roads, multiple cul de sacs, and gated communities is that drivers must take out-of-the-way routes to get from point A to point B. Most of today’s planned HOA communities have only one or two ways in and out. Most of the roads dead end in a cul de sac, and there are very few “through” roads connecting one main road to another. No doubt this creates difficulties for emergency responders as well.
Then, of course, HOA roads tend to be barely two lanes wide, with no room for parking on the street or passing a stopped vehicle without entering the opposite lane. Again, this is to ensure the maximum number of homes get squeezed into the available land, and also to reduce the initial cost of road construction. The more narrow the road, the less expensive it is to build. Of course, there’s little thought about how functional that might be for future owners, particularly when one road connects by sidewalk to an elementary school.
So isn’t it ironic that the County that issued the development permits now wants to charge Hollowbrook HOA an additional $2600 per month for an officer to direct traffic twice a day on St. Lucie Rd.?
And consider this…
We have now become a nation of hundreds of thousands of little HOA neighborhood islands, and we don’t want someone from another HOA to come into “our” community to bring their children to a Public School. Another issue is dividing neighbors, and all of it could have been prevented with more thoughful planning, and a few less platted lots.