Lowering the boom on Highland Avenue

Village of Florida vows to snare speeding scofflaws with monitor, police patrols


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FLORIDA — Motorists flaunting Highland Avenue's 25 miles-per-hour speed limit will soon see a monitor clocking their speed and, perhaps, a police cruiser in their rearview mirror.

Florida Village Trustees last week agreed to place the monitor on the west side of the heavily-traveled road in response to complaints by homeowners that motorists are ignoring its 25 MPH speed limit and endangering residents.

"Something has to be done so they can't go flying past my home at 50 miles-per-hour," Highland Avenue homeowner Ann Zembovictz told trustees. "Pull them over. Give them tickets."

Zembovictz was appearing before the board for the fifth time in four years to request the village to enforce its own speed limits.

While the village board and police have responded in the past by authorizing additional patrols on Highland Avenue following complaints, eventually the emphasis wanes and the speeders return, she said.

"I don't know what the answer is," Zembovictz said, noting because many homes - such as her's - are very close to the road, "it's not just speeding, it's how close they come to our homes," endangering the many children who live in the area, including her young daughter.

Trustees John Barczak Jr. and Craig Olejniczak said speeding is a village-wide scourge, noting that trying to get license plate numbers of cars speeding past their homes is a daily event.

"I'm sure everybody in the room has a story," Zembovictz said, "but I can't just ignore this" because the road is not far from her front door.

She said speeding is most common among motorists going southbound on Highland Avenue from the village and "headed uphill toward Jessup Road."

Mayor James Pawliczek Sr., suggested putting a speed monitor on the west side of the road "facing the village" and southbound motorists. All agreed.

But, eventually, Zembovictz said, the monitor will be gone, increased police patrols diminished and, she predicted, she'll be back before the board complaining about speeders on Highland Avenue.

"I'd like a speed bump put in front of my house," she said. "Maybe that's what I'll ask for next year."

- John Haughey

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