Good news for beach residents who walk to and from the Publix on Treasure Island: Publix has agreed to foot part of the bill for the construction of a crosswalk on Gulf Boulevard at 104th Avenue. Publix spokeswoman Shannon Patten confirmed last week that the grocery retailer will split some of the costs with the city.
The crosswalk has been a long time in coming, said City Manager Reid Silverboard, who said there has been foot-dragging on the part of the state Department of Transportation in getting a crosswalk approved.
"FDOT has finally agreed that a traffic signal with pedestrian crosswalk meets the warrants for installation. ... Even though this is a state roadway and the responsibility of FDOT to maintain, Treasure Island along with Publix Supermarket has budgeted funds to install a traffic signal," Silverboard wrote.
City officials say they hope to have the signal installed by next winter. Five additional crosswalks along Gulf Boulevard in the city also are planned.
East Bay drive/missouri ave.
Signal cycles timed to create optimum balance
Wondering what's up with the timing of the traffic signals on East Bay Drive? So is reader Scott Hood:
"Doc, I just sat through two cycles trying to turn left going east on East Bay coming from Missouri Avenue! The green light lasted all of 5-8 seconds tops and I was the sixth or seventh car in line. What irritates me is when cities make a turn lane and then don't set the lights to allow enough time for the last car in the turn lane to make the turn."
Norman Jester, signal system supervisor at the Pinellas County Traffic Control Center, looked into the timing and told us the southbound left turn signal gets between 6 and 12 seconds of green time depending on the time of day, and that's as it should be.
"During the day these signals run on a 130- and 140-second cycle length. That's the time to service all directions at the intersection. To give more time to any one direction would mean to subtract from another or increase the cycle length, which would mean a longer wait for your signal. It's a balance not easily achieved. Our main objective is to move traffic on the main street, in this case East Bay Drive and minimize stops," Jester said, adding that driver attentiveness is a consideration. Distracted drivers or those who are slow to react to the green light can mean sitting through another signal for the vehicles behind you.
Priority goes to main streets crossing Haines
Another traffic signal issue that's annoying motorists is the intersections of Haines Road at 38th Avenue N and 16th Street N.
Reader Bogdan Asztalos wrote:
"Dear Doc Delay, I've noticed two intersections where the traffic lights are painfully slow to change. Driving on Haines Road crossing 38th Avenue N and also Haines Road crossing 16th Street N, the lights are taking a very long time to change to green. Even if there is no traffic on 38th Avenue or 16th Street, cars on Haines Road are forced to idle for several long minutes. I've noticed at some point we've had sensors under the asphalt to help the flow of the traffic. Is there a way to find out if they have been disabled or they are out of order and there is no money to fix it?"
Bill Foster, St. Petersburg's traffic signal coordinator, told us he will check the vehicle detectors. But, he said, the busier street gets the upper hand in terms of length of a cycle. In this case, Haines Road is the designated minor street at both intersections.
"Unfortunately in order to provide synchronized traffic signals for motorists traveling on 38th Avenue and 16th Street, there is a longer delay for vehicles waiting on Haines Road," Foster said.
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