Lessons from Hurricane Irma: 1. Roundabouts

West Boca News has often advocated for roundabouts. Hurricane Irma showed us another advantage. When the power went out so did traffic lights, and our intersections became chaotic nightmares. Roundabouts are unaffected by power outages.
In general they’re safer and more efficient than regular intersections. Carmel Indiana converted over 100 intersections to roundabouts and saw “a 40% decrease in accidents, with an 80% decrease in injury-causing crashes and90% reduction in fatalities.” By comparison its non-roundabout neighbor Indianapolis saw: “a 30 percent increase in accidents with injury and a 16 percent increase in accidents resulting in a fatality ….”
I was discussing this with a friend who lives south of Glades off Lyons. FDOT is in the middle of a $1.8 million dollar project on Lyons. The main problem was the high volume of serious accidents at or near the intersection on Lyons with Escondido Way, the entrances to Escondido and Timbers of Boca. The so-called solution: straighten the curves and bank the roadway. Not only does this fail to address the intersection itself, but it will allow traffic on Lyons to go faster, making the intersection even more dangerous.
FDOT was more concerned with cars going off the road due to excessive speed on the curves, but their crash analysis did not break down severity by type of accident. Anyone who drives there knows that making a left turn onto Lyons there from either side is uncomfortable at best.
It is well known that roundabouts make intersections safer, but FDOT and our local politicians ignore that. Instead FDOT is increasing the speed of traffic entering an intersection known to be dangerous.
Below are a series of images showing what the intersection of Lyons and Escondido would look like with a Carmel roundabout superimposed on it. The images and map data are from Google Maps.




Many of our readers dismiss roundabouts with quick responses. Let’s be clear – Carmel Indiana saw a 90% reduction in traffic fatalities by converting many intersections to roundabouts. You can only oppose roundabouts if you want more people to die. Roundabouts save lives.

Dastjerdi Arrested Again for Aggravated Stalking

Update: Mr. Dastjerdi appeared in court on Wednesday. Prosecutors moved for pre-trial detention and the court granted that motion, meaning he will be held without bond. The case has been assigned to Judge Charles Burton.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that Dastjerdi targeted his former business partner, threatening to rape the man’s wife and blow up their house. Court records indicate the offense (or one of them) occurred in late November, with the case filed and warrant issued on December 9th.


dastjerdi
According to website BocaBusted.com, former West Boca resident Ahmad Dastjerdi was arrested Tuesday on three counts of “Aggravated Stalking – Follow, Harass, Cyberstalk, Credible Threat to Person.”
We reported on Dastjerdi’s previous arrest for similar charges back in 2013.
Mugshot from 2013
Dastjerdi mugshot from 2013

Dastjerdi was convicted in early September and sentenced to 60 days in jail for harassing phone calls to his former neighbor in the Escondido community. In that trial the jury rejected the felony aggravated stalking charges.
Escondido is on the east side of Lyons south of Glades. Dastjerdi now lives in East Boca. He is a certified electrical contractor and owns a business called Remote Electric, Inc.
The Sheriff’s booking blotter shows, at this writing, that Dastjerdi remains in custody without bond.
In researching this story we noticed that someone purporting to be Ahmad Dastjerdi posted comments on a story we wrote in January of 2013 about a local tire store. These point to an Ahmad Dastjerdi Facebook page that contains comments similar to those he was accused of in the trial. We cannot verify if this is actually Dastjerdi.

August Home Sales in 33433

Homes in the 33433 zip code are located east of Lyons Road and west of Military Trail, south of Glades Road down to the county line. Some neighborhoods in this zip code include: Boca Rio Golf Club, Boca Del Mar, Boca Pointe and Town Place Club Villas. The following homes sold in August 2014.


23445torrecir
This single family home at 23445 Torre Circle sold for $330,000. Located in the Costa Del Sol neighborhood, it has 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. It was built in 1994 and has 1915 sq. ft of living space and a 2 car garage. The kitchen has upgraded cabinets with crown molding and granite counter tops.


23601aquavwapt523601 Aqua Vw Apt 5, a townhouse in Isles of Boca community, sold for $300,000. This townhouse has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in 1930 sq. feet. Built in 1989, it was completely renovated in 2013. The kitchen has solid wood cabinets with granite counter tops,  all new appliances and italian wood porcelain floors.


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23413milanoctThis 3 bedroom and 3 full bathroom home at 23413 Milano Ct sold for $574,000. Located in the gated community Encantada, it has 3,026 sq. feet of living space and a 2 car garage. The home has a in ground heated pool and screened in porch overlooking a beautiful lake.  Built in 1987, it was originally purchased for $354,000 and sold in 2010 for $575,000.


7273estrellacirBuilt in 1979, this home at 7573 Estrella Circle in Estancia West sold for $410,000. This ranch has 4 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms in 2646 sq. feet. This home has views of the lake and an in ground pool.


21856townplacedrThis villa at 21856 Town Place Drive sold for $440,000. Located in Town Place Club Villas, the villa has 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms in 1,934 sq. feet. Located on the lake, it has a tropical garden and upgraded kitchen with granite counter tops. It was built in 1986 and purchased in 2005 for $480,000.


8880escondidowayThis ranch at 8880 Escondido Way E in the gated community of Escondido sold for $333,000. This 3 bedroom, 2 full bathroom home has 1,914 sq. feet of living space. Built in 1977, it has accordion shutters, an in ground screened in pool and stainless steel appliances. There is also a view of the golf course.


8886thamesriverdr8886 Thames River Drive in the gated community of Crescent Lakes sold for $360,000. This oasis pool home has 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms in 1,892 sq. feet. It has a chef’s kitchen with beautiful wood cabinets, granite counter tops and updated appliances. There is an in ground salt water pool with 2 screened patios. It was originally purchased in 1997 for $177,300.