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Extra attention paid to difficult intersection

I write because of my concern that accidents are bound to happen at the intersection of Second Street and Fifth Avenue N. Drivers attempting to exit Second Street onto Fifth Avenue N have obstructed vision of the cars heading west on the way to Fifth because cars are parked along Fifth. At times, it is so difficult to get onto Fifth Avenue N that I go east on Second Street, down a block and circle around to Third, then turn left on Fifth. That is a difficult intersection, but there is a traffic light there. Is there any way to have the city put a traffic light at that intersection?

Lola H. Walker

We shared this note with Mike Frederick, St. Petersburg's transportation manager, who told us his department has conducted reviews of this intersection. Those reviews resulted in the installation of additional crosswalk, speed limit and parking restriction signs. Frederick said the evaluations also determined that westbound vehicle speeds on Fifth Avenue N often exceed safe limits, so stepped-up enforcement of the posted 30 mph speed limit was requested. The St. Petersburg Police Department has also increased enforcement operations at the intersection in response to the number of motorists who were not stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Despite all the issues with the intersection, Frederick says conditions don't meet criteria to warrant installation of an all-way stop or traffic signal. This determination is based on minimum vehicle volume or delay to traffic from the side street. But Frederick said he will again request stepped-up police enforcement.

Do you have any idea when Interstate 275 N off the Howard Frankland Bridge into Tampa will be expanded? Currently two lanes go into Tampa and only one lane is for the airport and Veterans Expressway. This creates huge backups every day. Do you know what's planned and the completion date?

Ron Ricardo

The state Department of Transportation is in the early planning stage of a project that will eventually widen I-275 from north of the Howard Frankland Bridge to south of Lois Avenue. Kris Carson of the DOT says efforts are currently focused on getting the project funded, so no timeline is available until the money comes through.

Sewer work under way

Construction started last week on a three-month sewer pipe replacement project along Gulf Boulevard from south of the Shoppes at Sand Key to the Coast Guard Station.

Pipeline failures along this corridor have become a recurring problem and Clearwater's engineers hope to strengthen the pipeline. The work will require the construction of a temporary above-ground bypass to provide uninterrupted sewer service during the project.

Traffic will be routed around the work zone during construction, and two-way traffic will be maintained, allowing for limited temporary lane closures. Watch for information posted to message boards along the project route. Construction is expected to last through the holidays with a completion date estimated to be early January.

Email Dr. Delay at docdelay@gmail.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay.

Extra attention paid to difficult intersection 10/03/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 11, 2013 2:11pm]

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