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Ask Dr. Delay: New airport exit sign on I-275 befuddles

Some folks have been a little confused by a new sign on northbound Interstate 275 coming off the Howard Frankland Bridge because it packs a lot of information into a little space.

The new Exit 39 sign, which replaces the old Exit 39B sign, alerts motorists to the new exit that feeds to Tampa International Airport, which is about half a mile sooner than the old exit.

The new sign is divided in half and lists Clearwater and an abbreviation for the airport, "Tampa Int'l" — which one reader interpreted as a reference to International Plaza, so she missed the exit — and symbols for westbound State Road 60/Memorial Highway and the northbound Veterans Expressway. The other half indicates that the exit feeds eastbound to State Road 60 and Kennedy and Westshore Boulevards. It's a lot to absorb at 65 mph.

The upshot: If you're heading to Tampa International Airport via the Howard Frankland, you'll need to take Exit 39 and bank west.


Brighter not always better, state law says

Those of us who drive at night probably have noticed that some motorists use exceptionally bright white or blue headlamps, which can be annoying and dangerous because they can blind oncoming motorists. Factory-installed headlights seem to be brighter these days, but custom lights are becoming more popular.

Some states are considering a ban on super-bright headlamp bulbs because of safety concerns. Several readers have inquired about such bulbs here, so we checked state law.

Florida law says every motor vehicle must have at least two headlamps, one on each side of the vehicle's front, and they must produce a white light. Any material or cover that alters the headlamp's color is illegal.

Fog lamps are legal but vehicles are limited to two, and they must be mounted on the front of the vehicle "at a height not less than 12 inches nor more than 30 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands." The statue says fog lamps should be used with low-beam headlamps and aimed so that when a vehicle is not carrying weight, none of the high-intensity light projects higher than 4 inches below the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes.

Modifying your car with super-bright white or blue lights that glare like high beams is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction punishable as a nonmoving violation, so, yes, you can be ticketed for this. Read the statue online at and click on motor vehicles.

Keystone Road project

New water main will require lane closures

Work on the Keystone Road project, which entails installation of a new water main crossing East Lake Road, will continue until the end of the month with single-lane closures on Keystone from about 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day. There will be one lane open to through traffic at all times, but traffic will be slowed, so commuters should expect plenty of delays.

Please e-mail Dr. Delay at to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.

Ask Dr. Delay: New airport exit sign on I-275 befuddles 09/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 18, 2010 4:30am]
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