Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater considers making two beach streets one-way

CLEARWATER — The city is considering major changes for traffic on Clearwater Beach, turning two streets into one-way thoroughfares.

The proposal would turn Coronado Drive into southbound only, and Hamden Drive into northbound only.

This idea might draw opposition from some business owners on Coronado, which would see fewer cars. Residents of three side streets off Hamden may also need convincing, because they wouldn't be able to immediately turn left when they leave their neighborhoods.

But city engineers think the new setup would move traffic more efficiently. They say it would help avoid traffic tieups after two new parking garages open along Coronado.

City Council members appear receptive to the idea. They're talking about making the change in time for spring break.

The city will schedule a public meeting on Clearwater Beach within the next few weeks.

"I think this is a good idea," said Mayor Frank Hibbard. "I think the key is … we need to give everybody on the beach an opportunity to at least see these plans before we make a final decision. And to also understand that there's probably going to be some resistance."

This idea began to percolate this summer when the city decided to build a 300-space public garage fronting S Gulfview Boulevard. It will be next door to the Hyatt Aqualea Resort, which will open in December with a 750-space garage.

Both garages will exit at the rear of the buildings on Coronado. When beachgoers leave at the end of the day, hundreds of cars could be trying to turn left across traffic on Coronado to head toward the Clearwater Beach roundabout and leave the island.

"I just don't want to see people making left-hand turns coming out of those garages," said council member George Cretekos.

At a council meeting in June, Cretekos asked about turning Coronado and Hamden into one-way streets.

The city's traffic operations manager, Paul Bertels, said it would help traffic flow. But Bertels noted that businesses had previously opposed such a change when it was suggested in 1976 and 1988. And the mayor warned that merchants generally oppose one-way streets.

Bertels did an analysis of how the plan would work, then briefed council members. He predicted the new traffic pattern would shift more vehicles away from busy Coronado and onto little-used Hamden. He estimated that average daily traffic on Coronado would drop from 9,103 to 4,816 vehicles, but it would rise from 1,358 to 5,645 on Hamden.

Bertels said that restriping the roads and changing the signs would cost only about $10,000 and could be done in one night. He said Coronado's easternmost lane would become a turnaround lane at Coronado's south end, to keep traffic flowing in a loop.

The north-south road along the beachfront, S Gulfview Boulevard, would remain two-way.

Meeting in a work session Monday, most council members appeared to favor the plan.

"I don't want any left turners," said Carlen Petersen.

"We really don't have a choice here in my view, with the garages going up," Paul Gibson said.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at or (727) 445-4160.

Clearwater considers making two beach streets one-way 10/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 7:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Myrtle Avenue closed, man hospitalized after Clearwater bike crash


    CLEARWATER — Myrtle Avenue is closed in both directions following a bicycle crash that hospitalized a man with serious injuries.

  2. 'Candle in the Wind' was the perfect song at a tragic moment

    Music & Concerts

    When's the last time you listened to the biggest pop single of the modern era?

    John’s recording of Something About the Way You Look Tonight/Candle in the Wind 1997 was certified eight times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in its first day of release in the United States.
  3. Rosie Marie, star on 'Dick Van Dyke Show,' wins over Twitter at 94


    Today's must-follow Twitter account belongs to a 94-year-old actress whose 90-year(!) career spans back to the days of Vaudeville, making her one of that era's last surviving stars. 

    Rose Marie quickly gained thousands of followers with this plea.
  4. Rick Scott to have lunch with President Donald Trump on Thursday


    Gov. Rick Scott will have lunch Thursday with President Donald Trump, the latest in a series of get togethers between the political allies.

    Trump and Scott are grabbing lunch today.
  5. More