Multiple residents and business owners have long demanded that Wilton Manors install a stop light and cross walk at Wilton Drive and Northeast 20 Street. In 2015, one man even threatened to block Wilton Drive if it wasn’t installed.
Now, he and others have gotten their wish.
The Florida Department of Transportation [FDOT], which owns Wilton Drive, will install a stop light and crosswalk at the intersection. The current stop light and crosswalk in front of city hall will remain in place and functional. It’s estimated that the new stoplight will be operational in August.
Its instillation was announced in July of 2015, one day after Wilton Manors resident Greg Futchi, 68, a member of the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, was killed crossing Wilton Drive near Northeast 20 Street. According to police, Futchi was not using a crosswalk when he was hit by a driver going southbound. Other accidents on Wilton Drive also involved pedestrians not using crosswalks.
Futchi’s death sparked a rally outside city hall organized by people who demanded that state and city officials make Wilton Drive safer.
“We need the State to intervene,” Bill Spinosa, a Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida member, told SFGN at the rally. “Too many people are dying. Something must be done to protect them.”
“It should significantly increase pedestrian safety there at that intersection,” said Finance Director Bob Mays about the planned stop light.
Wilton Drive and Northeast 20 Street is where commissioners wanted the current stop light located but FDOT officials placed it in front of city hall, they said, because they thought it would be the spot where a crosswalk would be most used by pedestrians.
Asked if the second stop light would negatively impact traffic flow, Mays said “my understanding is there will be coordination between the two lights.”