Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tarpon mayor urges changes at Pinellas Trail intersection

Heading north on the Pinellas Trail, a cyclist waits to cross Klosterman Road in Tarpon Springs. It can be a deadly endeavor as cars on Alt. U.S. 19 turn right.


Heading north on the Pinellas Trail, a cyclist waits to cross Klosterman Road in Tarpon Springs. It can be a deadly endeavor as cars on Alt. U.S. 19 turn right.

TARPON SPRINGS — On a cool, sunny morning recently, Dunedin retiree Bill Dye pedaled his three-wheeled blue Tadpole tricycle north on the Pinellas Trail to the intersection of Klosterman Road and Alt. U.S. 19.

The pedestrian crosswalk sign invited him to proceed. But at the precise moment he rolled into the intersection, a middle-age man in a gray convertible zipped around the corner and then screeched to a stop. Dye retreated and signaled for the driver to go ahead.

"I'm out at the trail every day, and it's a problem," said Dye, who said he has biked 100,000 miles and never had an accident. "(Bicyclists) really should not cross the crosswalk unless you make eye contact with the driver."

Likely, the motorist was also surprised by the near collision.

Aside from a tilted yellow sign that says "turning traffic must yield to pedestrians," drivers have little warning a right-hand turn will send them barreling through the Pinellas Trail at the highly used route that runs parallel to Alt. 19.

Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie, who bikes to Dunedin and back several mornings per week with former Tarpon Springs Commissioner Glen Davis, said he has long grumbled about the danger.

But only recently did Archie ask for action at a meeting for the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which sets transportation policy, putting into motion a review process that can stretch months or years because of red tape.

"In my humble opinion some type of caution light would help," Archie said. "But if not, at least adequate signage would let the drivers know there is a trail and there are pedestrians and riders."

So far, the MPO and two of its subcommittees, the Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Technical Coordinating Committee, have reviewed concerns about the intersection.

But it will get more complicated, still.

The intersection is split between Tarpon Springs and unincorporated Pinellas County, so the state has control of the intersection while the county maintains the traffic signal.

The state Department of Transportation is analyzing crash data, traffic flow and the number of people who use the Pinellas Trail near that intersection, said Pinellas County traffic engineer Tom Washburn.

County engineers will review the state's study and make their own observations, Washburn said.

Only then can the state and the county work together to install a right-turn traffic signal, which he estimated would cost less than $10,000.

In the meantime, the Tarpon Springs Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office are being asked to monitor the intersection to keep it safe.

Officials considered installing signs or lights at the intersection once before, after a cement truck killed cyclist Horace Hall, a Crystal Beach resident, when he was crossing north in 2000. It was the trail's first fatality resulting from a collision with a vehicle.

The tragedy helped stoke plans to ban right turns when pedestrians and cyclists cross north at Alt. 19 and Curlew Road, a similar intersection near beach traffic and Dunedin shopping.

There, trail users push a button that activates a digital no-right-turn sign for drivers. If there are no users on the trail, the traffic can keep flowing, said Gina Harvey of the Pinellas County Planning Department.

"There are so many options these days," she said. "I hope we can get something up there."

Brittany Alana Davis can be reached at or (850) 323-0353.

Tarpon mayor urges changes at Pinellas Trail intersection 04/26/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 26, 2013 9:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Mumford and Sons shower Amalie Arena with love in euphoric Tampa debut


    There are releases, and then there are releases. And minutes into their concert Wednesday at Amalie Arena, Mumford and Sons gave Tampa the latter.

    Mumford and Sons performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. FEMA to open disaster recovery center in Riverview


    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will open a disaster recovery center Thursday in Riverview for Hillsborough County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma.

  3. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander


    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  4. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest


    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]