Clearwater vandal cuts down commute time by cutting down poles

8:12 PM, Jun 25, 2013   |    comments
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Clearwater, Florida - In a canal community with a lot of boats, apparently some land-side traffic poles don't float a driver's boat. Overnight, several of the poles were sawed off and residents speculate it was someone who was ticked off.

"Someone's not happy with the situation," said Ky Lewis through an open car window. "They're just annoyed."

The city put up the poles a few weeks ago after an engineering report showed four bridges in need of repair. The traffic control devices and road striping keep cars and trucks from going over the weakest portion of those bridges.

"It's for public safety," explains city of Clearwater spokesperson Joelle Castelli. "Someone decided it was an inconvenience and they decided to get rid of them."

And while the one-lane of traffic does cause some delays, most of the drivers 10 News spoke with didn't understand why the poles would be so polarizing. 

"Oh, it's not a problem at all," said one motorist. "You live out here and it's supposed to be a little more relaxed lifestyle... a little slower paced."

And resident Zoe Saravanos, who has poles on her street, says they're for everyone's good. "Doesn't bother me at all. They're OK... to protect us."

City workers were out on Tuesday afternoon replacing the poles. There's no word on how much the vandalism cost, but police do consider it criminal mischief. And with bridge construction not even scheduled to begin until next year, this is a pole dance drivers will just have to perform. 

"The poles are going to be there for quite some time," said Castelli. "Just practice patience."

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