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Ask Dr. Delay: PSTA will ensure that buses don't block traffic

Wouldn't it be great if someone were to come up with a substance to treat windshields that would give drivers X-ray vision? Such an invention might help folks who insist on pulling out into traffic even though their view is obstructed. Such motorists top the Doc's list of people who just should not be permitted to drive, period.

Reader Natalie Roberts wrote the Doc recently about her frustration with visual obstruction and space squeeze created by buses in her Pinellas Point neighborhood:

"There is a problem with buses parked between 65th Avenue S and Roy Hanna Drive S. The buses evidently sit at that area until starting their next run. When there are two or more parked there they leave such a little space between the buses that some people are afraid to go between. The buses are headed in opposite directions."

We touched base with Bob Lasher of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. Lasher told us that PSTA transit analysts are re-examining the stop to see whether they can find a way to further minimize the impact of buses on traffic.

According to Lasher, here's the situation: "At 10 minutes and 20 minutes past the hour, during regular operating hours, we have two buses scheduled to be at that location. That stop was originally chosen as a schedule adjusting location — known as a timepoint — nearly 20 years ago, because it was the least intrusive place in the area for buses to hold when running ahead of schedule. However, we want to make sure that we do our best to accommodate the community, so we'll work on finding a better solution."

Lasher passed along some of the guidelines for PSTA drivers and told us that stopping next to another bus in a way that impedes traffic is forbidden. He also said that ensuring bus stops on two-lane roads are not opposite each other is standard for PSTA: Placement of stops are staggered so that if two buses are on the same road at the same time, they don't block the road.

Readers can contact PSTA by calling PSTA's comments, compliments and complaints line at (727) 540-1900, or fill out a form at psta.net/administration.html. Be sure to note the time and bus number or route.

Buses vs. cars

Online calculator can help compare costs

While we're talking buses, if you've thought about parking the car and taking the bus to work and wondered what the cost saving might be, here's a handy online calculator that can help you figure that out. Go to publictransportation.org/contact/stories/calculator_08.asp.

PSTA fares range from special reduced fares that start at $2 for a one-day unlimited ride for seniors and the disabled to a variety of weekly and monthly passes. See the full schedule of fares at psta.net/busfares.html.

Lee Roy Selmon Expressway

Website will help with toll conversion system

St. Petersburg residents who routinely use the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway may be wondering about the conversion of the toll system to an all-electronic system (no cash will be accepted) that is scheduled to roll out this fall. In preparation, the Tampa Hillsborough County Expressway Authority has launched SaveOnTolls.com, a pretty cool interactive site hosted by — who else? — Lee Roy Selmon, who swoops on and off the pages like a superhero and explains the conversion. He also tells you you're cool depending on which tab you click, and, hey, who doesn't want Lee Roy Selmon to tell them they're cool?

Doc Delay is on twitter! Get news from the road at www.twitter.com/DocDelay. Please e-mail Dr. Delay at docdelay@yahoo.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.

Ask Dr. Delay: PSTA will ensure that buses don't block traffic 06/12/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 10, 2010 4:38pm]
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