Bicyclist fatality spurs talk of changes on Lakewood Ranch street

kmoschella@bradenton.comApril 16, 2014 

Bicyclists are not deterred following the death of Lakewood Ranch resident, Donald Mader, who was struck and killed by a car that ran a red light at the intersection of Parkside Place and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard in Summerfield. KATHRYN MOSCHELLA/Bradenton Herald

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Residents of Summerfield village in Lakewood Ranch and the supervisors who represent them are still expressing sadness and concern following an accident April 4 that killed a bicyclist and injured his wife.

Several supervisors of Community Development District 1, which includes Summerfield, have turned to the Inter-District Authority that manages Lakewood Ranch asking for help inspecting all intersections along the busy boulevard from the Summerfield off State Road 70 down to University Parkway.

Some supervisors also expressed a desire for Manatee County to install a left-turn

arrow at busy intersections such as Parkside Place to help cars turn north and south of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Parkside Place. The IDA has no authority to install or modify traffic lights because Lakewood Ranch Boulevard is a county road.

Longtime Summerfield resident Donald Mader, 83, was killed while riding bikes with his wife, Joyce Mader, 81, when he was struck by a car driven by Lakewood Ranch resident Lindsay Damery, 22.

Damery was charged with running a red light, but the Florida Highway Patrol could still file criminal charges. The investigation could take more than two months to complete, according to FHP.

Manatee Circuit Court records indicate Damery has been cited for at least seven traffic infractions since 2010.

CDD 1 Supervisor Phyllis Troy said a left-turn arrow existed at the intersection of Parkside Place and Summerfield Parkway years ago. Troy said she doesn't understand why it's no longer there and Manatee County should put it back since Lakewood Ranch Boulevard is a county road.

Supervisor Alan Roth agreed and suggested the district's operations department look at all intersections along the boulevard for possible signal light upgrades.

"I rode down there after the accident and it would be a good idea to check and see whether drivers can see left or right when pulling out of these intersections. You never know if you can save a life," Roth said

Roth said he had worked closely with Mader on the Summerfield Modifications Committee.

Sage Kamiya, deputy director of traffic management for Manatee County, said his department can't investigate the situation until residents request it, and then: "We'll try and come up with a solution."

In other traffic news, repairs to the Legacy Boulevard gatehouse at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club have begun and traffic is running smoothly, according to operations director Ryan Heise. During construction, one inbound lane will remain open at the gatehouse, but oversized vehicles are being redirected to The Masters Avenue. Signs alerting vehicles to the construction have been placed along University Parkway, and two flagmen are redirecting all oversized traffic.

Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.

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