Trends Winter 2017 | Page 5

Continued from page 3 Trowell’s efforts began by writing a detailed letter to local traffic reporter Leslee Lacey at WFLA- TV (News Channel 8), who helped Trowell research crash statistics. Lacey discovered there had been 14 accidents within a mile of that intersection during the school year. Lacey also used a speed tracking device and clocked drivers traveling more than 60 mph in the school area. Trowell started a petition and collected more than 500 signatures to support expediting construction of traffic controls. Armed with this data, she met with Pasco County officials and contacted County Commissioner Jack Mariano, who represents the area that includes the middle school, to state her case. Mariano became a supporter and helped get the project into the County’s budget and approved – typically a slow process, he said. “We’re elected by the people to be responsive. It’s satisfying in the end when things happen the way they were supposed to, and there’s nothing better than when government works for you,” said Mariano, who attended the ceremony in August where Trowell turned on the signals. “I got chills. It was a really cool moment for her, her father, and everyone involved in this project,” he said. Once the project received necessary approvals, the County gave Ayres Associates notice to proceed July 10 │5