Okeechobee to test 4-way stop on Fifth Avenue

OKEECHOBEE — On Dec. 17, the City of Okeechobee will begin a test of a 4-way stop at the intersection of South Park Street and Fifth Avenue (also known as Osceola Avenue) (in front of Okeechobee Utility Authority building), Mayor Dowling Watford announced last week. The traffic light will flash red in all directions and temporary stop signs will be installed.

“If successful, we will install flashing stop signs, like those at Central Elementary School,” explained Mayor Watford. “We believe this will help the traffic flow on Fifth Avenue.”

The traffic light near Central Elementary School was disabled due to damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. After the storm, the city changed it to a 4-way stop intersection, pending repairs to the traffic light. The 4-way stop at that intersection worked so well, the city opted to keep it that way. The stop signs have their own flashing lights around the edges of the signs.

Traffic at the intersection of South Park Street and Fifth/Osceola Avenue has increased since Florida Department of Transportation made changes at the main intersection of U.S. 441 (Parrott Avenue) and State Road 70. The changes added second turn lanes in all four directions, but removed the right turn lanes. Some drivers use Fifth Avenue to avoid the traffic at the main intersection.

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