"~ Starke & the Speed Trap Towns of US 301 ~" Starke by HSC123
Starke Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 9 photos
Motorists traveling between Jacksonville and the Gainesville/Ocala area on US 301 will find a good 4-lane highway through rural interior Florida, blemished by three "speed trap" towns so notorious that even AAA has cautioned its members about them. Lawtey, Starke, and Waldo have conspired to boost each of their towns' respective revenues by toying with the eyes and reflexes of unsuspecting travelers. What makes each a speed trap is that each town has posted a quick succession of signs -- each posting a speed limit slower than the previous one -- until slowing the acceptable rate of travel from a normal highway speed to a relative crawl over the course of a very short distance. Travelers who are not on their toes may find themselves forking over fines. Once the highway exits each town, the speed limit resumes its normal highway pace.
Lawtey is a blip on the map of little consequence. Starke, at the crossroads of 301 and SR 16, is a legitimate commercial hub with strip malls, fast food joints, small motels, and an old-fashioned downtown. It is here that many Jacksonville-area fans of Florida Gators football pause for a pit stop while en route to and from "The Swamp" on Saturdays in the fall. Waldo, known for its antique stores and the presence of Gainesville's closest Amtrak station, sits at the primary cut-off route where those bound for Gainesville and those bound for Ocala must head in different directions.
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