Traffic on Fourth Street N is a source of frustration for many readers, several of whom have contacted the Doc about a couple of specific issues in the Gandy area.
Motorists traveling north on Fourth Street N approaching Gandy will see two left-turn lanes. Drivers in the far left lane have the option of heading west on Gandy or northwest toward Roosevelt Boulevard. Traffic in the other turn lane may travel only onto Roosevelt. Some drivers seem to either figure this out too late or simply don't care about the clearly marked EXIT ONLY specification for the right lane and cut over in front of other vehicles to get on Gandy.
One reader wrote: "I drive this intersection six times a day and I almost get hit one of every six times. It's that bad. Better signage/road markings are imperative."
We shared this concern with Kris Carson of the state Department of Transportation, who told us that the lanes are dedicated as they are because the majority of traffic making a left turn from northbound Fourth Street N heads to Roosevelt.
Hmm … How far is it to St. Pete from St. Pete?
The same reader raised a question about signs and directional information, noting, "an FDOT sign in front of the Gateway shopping center on Dr. MLK Jr. Street N reads 'St. Petersburg 7' as in 7 miles from there … ? The sign is within city limits!"
The answer is that the national standard approach to destination/distance signs like the "St. Petersburg 7" sign stipulates that the mileage represented is the distance to the intersection identified as the "control node" of that city, Carson said.
"In the case of St. Petersburg, this is the intersection of Fourth Street N and Fifth Avenue N. So even though this particular sign is located within the city limits, it is still seven (7) miles to the central business core," Carson said.
Watch for barricades, workers at four sites
Keep an eye out for road work and sidewalk construction that may involve lane closures and delays:
• Crosswalk markings on Tyrone Boulevard from Fifth Avenue N to 38th Avenue N. Expect intermittent nightly lane closures Monday through Thursday between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
• Drainage construction on 46th Avenue N at 61st Lane until about Feb. 1.
• Sidewalk construction on 49th Street and 38th Avenue N to Lake Boulevard until about Feb. 1.
• Reconstruction of intersection to include left-turn lanes on 54th Avenue N and 28th Street. Roads will be open, but there are traffic delays due to lane closures.
Until next week, happy and safe motoring!
E-mail Dr. Delay at firstname.lastname@example.org to share traffic concerns and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.