The Destin City Council on Monday approved installing flashing stop signs on Kelly Street at its intersection with Spring Lake.
- The decision comes after Councilman Dewey Destin requested the city look into converting the T-junction into a four-way stop.
According to City Manager Lance Johnson, installing traditional stop signs to make the intersection a four-way stop would cost around $1,000. Using newer, illuminated signs would cost around $5,000.
- Councilman Dewey Destin made a motion to install flashing stop signs on the Kelly Street side only, cutting costs to around $2,000. Councilwoman Teresa Hebert seconded the motion.
Councilman Kevin Schmidt said that while some residents argue against more stop signs, he was in support making the roadway safer. Schmidt suggested also putting responsibility on the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office to crack down on those still speeding through intersections.
Captain Jason Fulghum of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said a recently approved state grant will provide additional overtime funding specifically for speed enforcement within Destin city limits.
“I drive down Kelly multiple times a day and more often than not, there’s people everywhere, especially around school hours,” Councilman Johnny King said. “I think going back to the Main Street and Kelly intersection when that tragedy happened initially, we had approved regular stop signs and I think there were people who were missing them and it was dangerous.”
- King then asked if the city had performed a traffic study at the location, to which Public Services Director Michael Burgess responded that a study done Aug. 17-21 found the 85th percentile speed — typically the threshold for traffic calming measures — was 37 mph at the 30 mph posted limit. The maximum recorded speed was 90 mph.
Mayor Bobby Wagner suggested the city should explore wider infrastructure changes that prioritize pedestrian safety over vehicle speeds.
“I would like to see, especially on our main corridors that we want to be more walkable, that we start by even just restriping to reduce lane widths,” Wagner said. “This could be a good first step to making drivers slow down.”
The motion for two flashing stop signs was carried unanimously.