Saturday, June 16, 2018
News Roundup

Parking situation on Eighth Street draws complaint

The on-street parking on Eighth Street between 21st and 22nd Avenues N is crazy. Parking is allowed on both sides of the street and people are parking right up to both the avenue and the alley entrances, effectively making it a one-lane street. Pulling onto Eighth Street from 22nd Avenue N is dangerous, as you cannot see oncoming traffic and pulling into and out of the alley is dangerous as you cannot see around the parked vehicles to check for traffic. Can the city do anything? Even limiting parking to one side of the street would make a big difference. Stephanie Jarczynski

We asked Mike Frederick, St. Petersburg's manager of transportation planning, to look into this one for us. Frederick's staff conducted an on-site review of the street parking situation along Eighth.

Frederick told us that while his staff did not observe that on-street parking caused any problems during their review, they will install "No Parking to Corner" restriction signs at 22nd Avenue N to keep access and egress into and out of the neighborhood unobstructed.

City code already prohibits parking on the west side of streets and the north side of avenues. Learn more about neighborhood transportation planning in St. Petersburg at tinyurl.com/ckvsgqo.

A lot of us came from someplace else and believe the traffic signal system in Pinellas County needs updating. When are we going to see flashing signals in the evenings (after 9 or 10 p.m.) on major roads where side streets intersect, with flashing caution (yellow) for main road drivers and flashing red for side street drivers? Bruce Peters

Glenn Weaver, engineering supervisor with Pinellas County, says many factors are considered when determining the operation of traffic signals countywide. These include intersection geometrics, traffic volumes and approach speeds, the safety of pedestrians and motorists being top priority. Weaver says that traffic studies have found that more collisions take place at intersections with flashing traffic signals

"Right-angle crashes, which are the most serious, have the greatest increase when an intersection is in flashing operation. Conflicts with pedestrians are also likely to increase because the pedestrian indication, which provides the pedestrian with a safer opportunity to cross the intersection, is no longer operational during flashing operation," Weaver said.

Because so many studies indicate that non-flashing traffic signals at intersections are safer, Pinellas has chosen to go this route. Weaver did note, though, that some traffic signals around the county are taken out of coordination in the evening and on weekends when traffic volumes are low, which should reduce the delay for motorists on side streets.

Traffic delay today

Today's 25th Annual Jim Rosenkrans Memorial Toy Run motorcycle ride, which begins at 10 a.m. at Jim's Harley Davidson at 54th Avenue N and 28th Street and proceeds west, will affect traffic until sometime around noon. The motorcycle route will wind along the beaches and return to the city via Pasadena Avenue S, then turn eastbound at First Avenue S and continue to 28th Street, turning north to return to Jim's Harley Davidson.

Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] or follow on Twitter @AskDrDelay.

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