Readers weigh in with politics and history on I-10 route in Tallahassee | Street Scene

Notice: the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA) will host a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 29, at the Lake Jackson Community Center. This is for public discussion regarding proposed safety improvements slated for North Monroe Street. I recommend all interested parties attend and be heard. Take copious notes.

Thanks goes to Street urchins weighing in on the history of I-10 through Leon County and Tallahassee.

Eastbound traffic on Interstate 10 slows to one lane as the Florida Highway Patrol and Leon County Sheriff's Office investigate "several vehicle crashes between mile markers 199 and 203" Monday, July 6, 2020.
Eastbound traffic on Interstate 10 slows to one lane as the Florida Highway Patrol and Leon County Sheriff's Office investigate "several vehicle crashes between mile markers 199 and 203" Monday, July 6, 2020.

The twisted path of Interstate-10

Q. Jeff has forwarded a treatise titled "The Birth Of I-10 Was Not An Easy Ride" written by Alyssa Brown for Tallahassee magazine on the subject of getting Interstate 10 through Leon County. Alyssa’s piece was published Nov. 3, 2014.

A. Apparently this section of concrete and steel is worthy of some type of award for comical political clumsiness. It’s worth a read. Jeff, I will investigate the hazard you point out for southbound drivers on Deerlake North approaching the Waters Meet & Chadwick Way intersection.

Q. Tim writes a since-deceased friend who worked for Leon County Planning & records in the 1980’s spent his down time reading archived records which indicate the Army Corps of Engineers platted I-10 through south Tallahassee closer to universities and the Capitol Complex. However influential families lobbied it to be moved to advantage their property values. Lake Jackson would not have been so adversely affected and construction would have been cheaper due to the flat terrain. Tallahassee is dramatically different than it might have been otherwise.

A. Politics is known to trample the best interest of the masses.

Q. C. Henery says greetings! The original plan was to have I-10 to go by the airport. The route was changed because of local and state politics. There was a map in the FSU Urban and Regional Planning Library that showed the original route and changed route to the north side. The changed route is why there is the sweeping curve coming into Tallahassee from the east. There was another map in the collection that showed which politician owned what land where the route finally went. I doubt if either map is still in their collection, but saw them when I was a graduate student.

A. Politics is known to move mountains.

Q. Ken remembers as a resident of Leon County at the time 1-10 was constructed, it was my understanding that the route of I-10 was shifted to financially benefit a local politician/ land owner.

A. Ken also recommends "The Birth Of I-10 Was Not An Easy Ride." There must be some truth somewhere when all respondents write the same thing. Thanks to each of you for giving us another reason to be inquisitive.

Check your batteries

Q. Francis wants to know why smoke alarm batteries wait until 3 o’clock in the morning to start their high squeal chirping for battery replacement.

A. Now there is a question for the ages.

Check your mirrors

Q. Barbara asks: what’s with drivers who without looking activate their turn signal to change lanes and immediately swerve in front of you as if the turn signal provides a protective barrier from the imminent collision with another vehicle. Twice as I was going home on Thomasville Road, I’ve had to take decisive action to avoid letting someone hit my car.

A. I’ve seen it, Barbara. This is another indication we are handing out driver licenses to those unqualified. Also, an example of how we must be ever ready with our defensive driving skills. Attention driver training schools please include this necessary understanding that turn signals do not automatically give a driver the right of way to change lanes. Check your mirrors!

Be a good steward of the roads

Q. Jim writes, many years ago there was apparently an informal deal that local concrete companies would, from time to time, clean up blobs of concrete dripping off concrete trucks. Is that still in effect? There is a concrete pile on the eastbound turn lane at US 90 and Blair Stone that’s been there a very long time and shows up on Google Earth road level dated April 2023. There is another in the right lane of 7th Avenue just before the Thomasville Road/ Meridian Road intersection that looks like it has been there for years.

A. At the time these spills happen I suspect the driver doesn’t know about it however, surely, he sees it on subsequent trips. I know the tens of thousands of city utility vehicle drivers, police and county vehicle drivers traveling to every intersection in Tallahassee through the years see the spills.

We ask they notify public works via radio when they see any type of spill. We citizens are not relieved responsibility to be good stewards, if you see a spill on the road, please notify city utilities, 850-891-4968 or 711.

Street Scene
 Philip Stuart
Guest columnist
Retired state trooper Philip Stuart.
Street Scene Philip Stuart Guest columnist Retired state trooper Philip Stuart.

Philip Stuart is a retired Florida State Trooper, Traffic Operations Projects Engineer and Forensics Expert Witness. Write to crashsites@embarqmail.com.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Readers weigh in on how politics paved way for 1-10 in Tallahassee