Friday, September 4, 2009

Cherry Hills (Sic) Drive?

The citizens of Florence and many others who commute through this area on a regular basis suffered for months while traveling on US 72 during the final stages of the AL 133 extension. Detours and bottlenecks were the norm on US 72, commonly known within the city limits as Florence Boulevard, yet our elected officials asked us to be patient. The end results would be worth it all.

Certainly those who can now take AL 133 from south of Muscle Shoals to Helton Drive have benefited, but what about Florence Boulevard traffic? The Alabama Department of Transportation added two signals on this much-used thoroughfare where the north and south off ramps converge with the Boulevard. Certainly, these traffic signals were needed, and even welcomed by most Shoals drivers, but what about the Tune Avenue intersection?

At one time, city and state officials had indicated they would remove the signal at the Tune Avenue/Florence Boulevard intersection. Located just mere feet east of the US 72/AL 133 juncture, Tune Avenue leads from US 72 to a quiet residential neighborhood, a neighborhood that no longer includes the now defunct Powell Elementary School--the initial and primary reason for the traffic light.

Instead, the entrance to a Florence housing project, Cherry Hill Homes, has been widened, making that junction appear to the casual eye a four-way intersection. The City of Florence has even given the widened entrance a name: Cherry Hills Drive.

It's discouraging enough to have a light remain at this ultra low-traffic junction; to have the new "street" misnamed adds insult to injury. Cherry Hill Homes development was built on Cherry Hill. Notice the singularity of hills in both appellations. If Shoals drivers are going to be forced to wait needlessly at this signal, please at least get the name of the northern approach right.

From the mail bag: "Bliss Block, what a crock." Tomorrow, more on the fleecing of Florence.