Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Treasure Island approves signal, crosswalk to help Gulf Boulevard pedestrians

TREASURE ISLAND — Eighteen months after a pedestrian was killed crossing Gulf Boulevard, the city is poised to spend more than $300,000 for a new traffic signal and crosswalks that officials hope will significantly improve pedestrian safety.

Last week, the commission approved a $204,905 bid to install a new traffic signal at 104th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard, where the city says pedestrians frequently walk to and from the city's Beach Park and a nearby Publix grocery store.

Cars trying to enter or exit Gulf Boulevard to access Publix are frequently forced to wait long periods for a break in traffic, further complicating pedestrian traffic across the road.

Publix is contributing $125,000 to the cost of the new traffic signal.

"We are really excited about the signal at 104th. It has been a work in progress getting DOT on board," said Jim Murphy, the city's director of public works.

Next week, the commission is expected to approve spending $108,000 more to build five crosswalks allowing pedestrians to cross more safely to the city's most heavily used beach access points.

The new Gulf Boulevard pedestrian crosswalks will be at 126th, 123rd, 119th, 103rd and 99th avenues.

Each of the new crossings will include landscaped median refuges as well as flashing lights on either side of the road to warn oncoming traffic that people are in or about to cross the intersection.

The refuge islands in the northern end of the city will be able to accommodate three or four people, Murphy said, but those in the southern portion of Gulf Boulevard will be smaller because the road is narrower.

The cost of four of the five upgraded pedestrian walkways will be paid out of a $605,000 grant the city received in 2001 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in recompense for damage caused by a 1993 oil spill.

In addition to the new crosswalks, the NOAA funds were used for purchasing and developing the Sunset Vista trailhead park, as well as covering most or all of the costs for other beach-related projects including beach access signs, installation of turtle-friendly solar LED lighting, bicycle racks, trash cans and educational signs describing beach plants, animals and birds.

Meanwhile, the LPA Group, the city's traffic engineering consultants, are recommending installation of a sixth crosswalk at 120th Avenue, a potentially dangerous spot where beachgoers and residents frequently cross Gulf Boulevard to reach a convenience store.

"There is a lot of pedestrian activity here. It's a busy road with a lot of traffic. Because of the curve Gulf Boulevard makes at this point, it is difficult for pedestrians to cross," LPA Group spokesman Jerry Dabkowski told the commission last week.

If the crosswalk at 120th Avenue is approved by the state Department of Transportation, it will cost $23,000 to build — an amount city manager Reid Silverboard said is already budgeted.

Construction on the five permitted crosswalks is expected to begin immediately and be completed by the end of the year. The traffic signal at 104th Avenue is expected to be completed by the end of January.

The proposed pedestrian crosswalk at 120th Avenue must be approved and permitted by the DOT before construction can start.

Murphy said his department is also developing plans to expand the bike trail from the Treasure Island Causeway to the newly signaled 104th Avenue crossing to allow bicyclists to access the south end of the city's planned Beach Trail.

Pedestrian signal lights are also planned at the St. James intersection where 104th, 107th and 108th avenues converge.

Treasure Island approves signal, crosswalk to help Gulf Boulevard pedestrians 09/27/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 5:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]