Slow Down

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Sixty-nine-year-old Ernestine Grinstead walked every night through the Treasure Palm and Hidden Pines neighborhoods on Panama City Beach.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, last Friday 27-year-old James A. Wilson was leaving his neighborhood around 4:30 when he swerved onto the side of Treasure Palm Drive and hit Grinstead. She died the next day at the hospital.

Hidden Pines resident Mandy Anderson lives right off the entrance and says traffic is always flowing.

"Especially around this curve right here, they're not exactly doing 10-15 miles per hour, they're doing more like 20-30 miles per hour," she says.

There are about 200 houses between the two developments, and they all share the same entrance: Treasure Palm Drive.

Gerry Dow has two children and he says his son knows better than to get close to the main thoroughfare on which they live.

"Perhaps speed bumps, right around this area here and coming in the system right before you get to the Hidden Pines entrance," he suggests.

Before speed humps are installed the area has to go through a six-step process with the county. Besides numerous county traffic studies, a neighborhood representative needs to obtain a petition from the residents affected.

Bay County transportation director John Alaghemand says they get several requests for speed humps, but that doesn't mean everyone wants them.

"Number one, we want to make sure that at least 90 percent of the property owners would like to have a speed hump," says John.

But for now, walkers and drivers alike need to be more aware of each other.

Kristi Fuller exercises often throughout the neighborhood, but knows she can't depend on drivers to see her.

"I would just make sure you're paying attention to what other people are doing, listen for cars. Don't have headsets on when you're running or walking," she advises.