Sunday, February 18, 2018
Public safety

First Avenue lights are out of synch, for now

I used to be able to drive the speed limit on First avenues N and S in St. Petersburg and never had to apply the brakes. The lights were synchronized from downtown to 66th Street and vice versa. But now the timings are all out of whack. Any information you have would be appreciated.

Chris Morrison

Chris, you are among many readers who have asked the same question lately.

Here's the latest word from Mike Connors, St. Petersburg's public works administrator:

A citywide upgrade of the traffic signal control and transmission system is under way, involving 300 signals. The upgrade is happening because the signal management software the city has been using is no longer supported by the vendor. So the former system of signal control via cable lines is being replaced with new 3G technology. In the meantime, maddening as it may be, motorists should be prepared for some signal angst here and there through the summer.

"We are 40 percent complete with the overall effort and will continue to operate both systems until full completion in the September time frame. Hardware and software installation on First Avenue N and S signals is substantially complete and is being reprogrammed for synchronization expected to be completed within the next three to four weeks," Connors said last week.

The traffic lights recently installed at Eckerd College and the Pinellas Bayway do not appear to be fully traffic-actuated. By that I mean the signals cycle to red on the Bayway at all hours, even when there is no traffic exiting from Eckerd College to go west toward St. Pete Beach. I've seen, on busy weekends, eastbound traffic backed up almost to the toll booths and westbound traffic to 34th Street S waiting for nonexistent traffic from the college. Was this part of the original design?

Russ Harris

The Doc has received a lot of inquiries recently about the operation of the signal at Eckerd College Drive and the Pinellas Bayway/54th Avenue S.

First, the signal is not intended to slow the flow of traffic to and from the beaches; rather, its purpose is to enable traffic to safely enter and exit the Eckerd College campus at peak times. The campus is home to 1,850 residential students, 700 part-time students and several hundred employees, thus the volume of traffic can be heavy at certain times of the day.

The redesigned intersection was a project of the state Department of Transportation, but the traffic signal is maintained by the city of St. Petersburg. A city worker was on site to reset the signal timing last week, and DOT public information officer Kris Carson says the DOT will continue to monitor the intersection closely.

Barricade watch

In Clearwater, be prepared for the nightly closure of the intersection of Belleair Road and U.S. 19 and the southbound lane of U.S. 19 from Nursery Road to Belleair Road on Tuesday night through Friday morning to make way for girder work on the overpass bridge at Belleair Road.

The closures will run nightly from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Tuesday. Southbound detour routes: Nursery to Belcher to Belleair Road back to U.S. 19.

Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Follow @AskDrDelay on Twitter.

Comments

Pinellas Park man tries to stop people breaking into his car, is shot in arm

PINELLAS PARK — A man saw people trying to break into his vehicle and chased them away, before one of the attempted burglars shot him in the arm, police said.Alexander Weaver, 28, was at his home on the 6200 block of 106th Avenue N early Sunday morni...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Deputies: Woman charged with DUI manslaughter hit St. Pete Beach pedestrian

ST. PETE BEACH — Deputies say a driver killed a man walking on a sidewalk and fled the scene before causing a second crash Saturday night.Carolyn Yovan, 51 of St. Pete Beach, now faces felony charges of driving under the influence manslaughter and le...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

PINELLAS PARK — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office late Saturday said detectives arrested a 14-year-old boy and accused him of posting a threat to a school on his Snapchat account.Edward Charles Osgood, who attends Lealman Innovation Academy, was a...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Man found dead in flaming mobile home

TAMPA — Firefighters found a man dead inside a burned-down mobile home Saturday.Tampa Fire Rescue got a call just after 4:30 p.m. that a single-wide mobile home at the 100 block of East Linebaugh Avenue was in flames.The man’s identity was not releas...
Published: 02/17/18
‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

Warning: This story quotes graphic material.Before he killed 17 people at a South Florida high school, Nikolas Cruz repeatedly threatened an ex-classmate who had started dating his former girlfriend, according to a report in Buzzfeed News."I’m going ...
Published: 02/17/18

Police find dead man in Tampa apartment

TAMPA — Police found a dead man inside an apartment in the 5200 block of Sonora Court Friday after 3 p.m.Who the man is or how long he’s been dead is not yet clear, police said. The victim appears to have been killed in some sort of "homicidal violen...
Published: 02/17/18
Prosecutor: Death penalty was ‘designed’ for cases like Florida school shooting

Prosecutor: Death penalty was ‘designed’ for cases like Florida school shooting

The 17 counts of premeditated murder against Nikolas Cruz are the type of case "the death penalty was designed for," according to the Florida prosecutor in charge of trying the confessed school shooter.But Michael Satz, the longtime Broward state att...
Published: 02/17/18
Florida, angry and grieving, takes gun protest to streets

Florida, angry and grieving, takes gun protest to streets

PARKLAND, Fla. — Thousands of angry students, parents and residents demanded stricter gun control laws Saturday as new details were revealed about the suspect accused of shooting and killed 17 people in a Florida high school. The rally, held in downt...
Published: 02/17/18

Woman hit, killed Friday along Memorial Highway

TOWN ’N COUNTRY — A woman died after she was hit by a minivan along Memorial Highway on Friday night, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The 53-year-old woman, whose identity was not released, was trying to cross Memorial Highway f...
Published: 02/17/18
White nationalist appears to disavow connection with shooter

White nationalist appears to disavow connection with shooter

PARKLAND, Fla. — A white nationalist appears to have lied to The Associated Press and other news organizations when he claimed that Florida school-shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was a member of his obscure group.Law enforcement officials have said the...
Published: 02/17/18