Readers discuss saving the Loop and how to protect each other during COVID-19.
How you can save the Loop
Did you know that the Loop used to look like Pine Tree Drive, from Ormond Lakes to Old Dixie Highway? The county widened the right-of-way and the pavement, and increased the speed limit to 45 mph, except on some curves that are 35 mph.
What is the Loop? It starts at North Beach Street at the Granada bridge and continues in a loop until you return to the Granada bridge via John Anderson Drive.
Highway used to mean a road, path, cart or wagonway, maybe on an old animal trail. Early settlers in 1767 with help of American Indians created a shell path from Ormond to St. Augustine and called it the “Kings Road” or “Kings Highway." Florida was under the control of the British during this time. Part of this path is now called Old Dixie Highway; it's part of the loop.
Today, a highway is a heavily-traveled road. Why would we want a highway with 45 mph speed limit through this beautiful “Old Florida” scenic land? This should be a “lane," a lightly-traveled roadway with no easements or medians, and 30 mph would be the fastest appropriate speed to travel on the Old Dixie part of this lane. It should slow down on the Walter Boardman Road section to 25 or 20 mph, then 20 mph or 15 mph on High Bridge Road, and then back to 30 mph on John Anderson until you get out of North Peninsula State Park and continue back to the Granada Bridge.
Outside the city limits, the Loop is a Volusia County road. Let's tell the county to reduce the shoulders and lower the speed limit. Let the tree line come back closer to the road. There is enough roadway to have a carriageway for cars and a bike lane. Narrower lanes psychologically tell the driver that the slower speed limit is appropriate, just like wider lanes say “it's ok to go faster." Anywhere the power lines are visible from the road, let's ask that they be placed back in the buffer, away from the roadway. Do you want to save the Loop? The scenic byway and trail that is so beautiful? This is how you do it. Tell the county what you want. Make them do it.
Bill Partington II
Editor's note: Bill Partington II is Mayor Bill Partington's father.
Let’s protect each other
My wife and daughter are both registered nurses. My wife’s paternal grandmother died in the resurgence of the 1918 flu pandemic, nine days after giving birth to my father-in-law. Her family was torn apart. From its onset, my family has taken the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously.
Now there’s a resurgence in Florida.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a contactless political sign distribution. I was especially pleased and comforted because all of the event’s volunteers wore masks. People wanting yard signs did not have to get out of their cars — just pop the trunk open. Our local political campaigns will certainly be different this year with social distancing. As our community comes together in 2020 to preserve Ormond Beach’s small city character, and quality of life, we must first and foremost protect each other. I call upon the city of Ormond Beach to require that face masks be worn in public places.
Editor's note: Rob Bridger is running for mayor in the city of Ormond Beach.