7-Eleven barrier

This raised concrete barrier, in front of the new 7-Eleven on West Cardinal Street, has prompted complaints from people who say they can no longer access the Circle K across the street if they're driving west on Cardinal toward U.S. 19. 

The county’s first 7-Eleven gas station/convenience store will open in Homosassa Friday but the talk of the town is not so much about Slurpees as it is about the concrete barrier along West Cardinal Street that has changed the traffic pattern at the new store.

The Chronicle has received several emails and phone calls from people objecting to 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 been 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. Or they can do what shopper Michael Gegan of Homosassa does: make a U-turn at U.S. 19.

Gegan, who lives off West Cardinal and patronizes Circle K almost every day, said the barrier is creating a dangerous situation for drivers.

He understands the safety issue but wonders why engineers couldn’t have cut out a small space from the barrier allowing eastbound Cardinal traffic to turn in at Circle K.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he said.

 Celebration

 Meanwhile, 7-Eleven is pulling out all the stops for its new store at 6711 U.S. 19. The grand opening celebration Friday will start at 11 a.m. and include fresh food sampling, free coffee and Big Gulp drinks.

Radio station 103.9 The Boot will be on-site from noon to 3 p.m.

“It’s a great opportunity (for people) to get to know the new franchisee in the neighborhood and put a face to the name rather than some random business owner,” said Hannah Anderson, who is helping with public relations for 7-Eleven.

Sanjay Patel is the franchisee for that new 7-Eleven.

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.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com.

(13) comments

EMILYH

I agree that the barrier is a big problem. There will be accidents on that corner because people that use Shell gas need to make a u-turn from Cardinal to get into the Shell Station. Not only that US19 heading north at Cardinal there is not a turn lane and people use it as a turn lane. Why can't they remove part of the barrier so people can turn into Shell.

ROBERTTOMPKINS

Amazing the (g) staffers state they never received the HAND delivered petition.

SigmundG

Just what was needed in that area. 2 gas stations within 100 feet of each other and 5 gas stations within 4 miles of each with another on its way. Don't forget the 2 closed stations near Burger King and Wendy's. The Zoning Board and Chamber of Commerce as well as the Citrus County Commissioners are the biggest jokes in Florida. Voters need to clean out the Citrus County Swamp.

Lourie Schultz

Strange that there is now so much negative on here in regards to Mr. Kitchen. First, I want to point out, I did not vote for him and will not in the future, second, I do not agree with his statement of not talking to our one and only local news print. But with that said, he "did" win his re-election, so, as the American way goes, he must be what the majority of the county voters want. It is also fair for me to note that the majority of eligible voters, do not register to vote, and the registered voters on the majority do not show up and vote. So with this said, you get what you pay for, or in this case, what you truly spent your time on through the rest of the year.

Phunkasaurus Wrex

It's interesting that the 7 eleven owner is a member of the same family the county is paying $1000 dollars a month for a right of way to connect the Riverwalk in Crystal River,and this barrier negatively impacts a competing business but the commissioner for the area won't address everyday citizens concerns. Seems legit.

Sagacious

Childish that Ron Kitchen, as a local elected official, won’t talk to the only local newspaper about a local issue!

StevenD

It will be filthy in 6 months.

Madhatter

Why not just complete the access to the cirke K to the Walmart parking lot? It's mostly already built.

Ssabmud

"When asked about it Wednesday, Kitchen said he has enacted a new policy not to talk to the Citrus County Chronicle." Come on Kitchen, I knew that you were a little dense but this is too much. This is Citrus County, not the 2nd grade, man, grow up and start acting like a commissioner instead of a little loser. Actually, your statement makes me laugh because I knew you didn't have what it takes to adequately represent Americans. Have know it for a long, long time, but you have just proved it.

JENNIA

It's because he's likely to say something stupid and doesn't want it broadcast. People will ALWAYS see thru stupid....

SusJoh

Does Circus County have an official spokesperson? If so, then Kitchen can enact a policy that prohibits anyone but this official spokesperson (or their appointed assistant if spokesperson is unavailable) from disseminating information to the media.

June RH

Mr. Kitchen won't talk to the Chronicle anymore? You aren't some paid athlete on a football team. You're a paid commissioner. Grow up, please.

bellis

Couldn’t agree more mr kitchen soo childish. Time to vote all of them out it’s time for a woman to be voted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.