Citrus County’s first 7-Eleven gas station/convenience store opened in Homosassa last week, but people have been talking less about Slurpees and more about the concrete barrier along West Cardinal Street that has changed the traffic pattern at the new store.
Numerous people have voiced complaints about the barrier.
Walt Eastmond, the county’s project manager, said the raised traffic separator allowing the right-in and right-out from both the new 7-Eleven and Circle K — almost directly across the street on Cardinal — was mandated for safety reasons. The idea was formed after a meeting with the county, 7-Eleven and the Florida Department of Transportation.
The 7-Eleven chain paid for it as part of its permit, Eastmond said.
“We had a safety issue that had to be addressed,” he said.
Eastmond said he’s had about two emails from folks questioning the barrier but that’s all. An employee at Circle K said some customers signed a petition to get the barrier removed and that it was delivered to County Commissioner Ron Kitchen Jr., who represents that area.
When asked about it Wednesday, Kitchen said he has enacted a new policy not to talk to the Citrus County Chronicle. County staffers later said they had not received a petition.
The biggest problem is apparently drivers going west on Cardinal who must now either travel through the Walmart parking lot and wind their way around to U.S. 19 to enter Circle K. They can also make a U-turn at U.S. 19.
A second 7-Eleven is being built about two miles south of the Cardinal site and will be located at 9335 U.S. 19, by the Publix-anchored Shoppes of Sugarmill Woods.
There is no date set for the grand opening of that location.
This story raises issues of design and parking lots. According to the Chronicle, the designers of this location made a decision about safety that may now be negatively affecting a nearby parking lot. Parking lots are obviously designed to handle the parking of cars, not the comings and goings of retail traffic.
With the holiday shopping season well under way, the danger of parking lots, including ingress and egress, is of special concern with accumulating traffic and more people in a hurry. Ingress refers to the right to enter a property, and egress refers to the right to exit a property.
Parking lots can be owned or controlled by businesses or by government entities. Whoever owns or is in control of a parking lot is responsible for that lot and must make sure it’s safe and maintained properly. If the owner of the parking lot fails to design or maintain a parking lot in a reasonably safe way, then the owner can certainly become liable for any injuries that occur as a result of their negligence.
Parking lot injuries can happen for numerous reasons, such as:
- Negligent maintenance of the parking lot
- Negligent maintenance of the parking ramp
- Negligent maintenance of sidewalks and stairways leading to the parking lot or ramp
- Improper markings or traffic signals in the parking lot
- Poor parking lot design resulting in blind spots
- Poorly designed traffic flow patterns
- Improper lighting
- Lack of security
If a parking lot injury has left you suffering from injuries, then our Citrus County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you obtain financial compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional distress and other damages that resulted from your parking lot injury. First, we must show that the parking lot owner failed to live up to their duty of care. Then we must show that the duty was breached as a result of the parking lot owner’s failure to secure or maintain the lot. Last, we must show that the negligence of the parking lot owner was a direct cause of the harm that you suffered. We can help you gather all of the necessary evidence so that we can make a successful claim on your behalf.