Friday, November 24, 2017
Transportation

Improvements to Lakeview Drive at North Dale Mabry to ease traffic backups

RECOMMENDED READING


CARROLLWOOD — Construction crews will begin a $2.4 million project this summer at the intersection of N Dale Mabry Highway and N Lakeview Drive, hoping to eliminate morning and afternoon backups.

The project, which focuses on Lakeview's winding southern intersection at Dale Mabry, will include several improvements on Lakeview, including a second left-turn lane for traffic heading south onto Dale Mabry. It will also provide a separate lane for right turns and through-traffic.

Making a turn from Lakeview has long been a source of frustration for drivers from the Lake Platt West neighborhoods north of Bearss Avenue.

Morning and afternoon rush hours are particularly tough, with commuters turning left from Lakeview competing with traffic coming into the area and toward the administrative offices of Seminole Electric Cooperative Inc. on the southeast corner.

Lakeview's two westbound lanes clog with cars trying to turn left, causing motorists who want to turn right to get stuck, as well.

Backups can stretch a couple hundred yards in the mornings with commuters heading to work and in the afternoons with employees for Seminole Electric leaving to go home.

"It's a pain, especially if you get stuck behind a school bus," said plumber Mike Casey, who lives off Fox Lake Drive. The logjams last from around 7:15 to 9:15 a.m., he said.

In the afternoons, Seminole Electric employees turn through an opening in the Lakeview median to head west.

"It can be challenging in the afternoons," company spokesman Dave Szymanski said.

County engineers think a solution rests with three fixes:

• Adding a second left-turn lane on Lakeview.

• Lengthening those turn lanes so they can accommodate more cars.

• Setting aside Lakeview's right westbound lane for through-traffic and right turns.

The existing left-turn lane holds a half dozen vehicles, and fewer if a school bus is waiting. The county's plan would nearly triple capacity.

"It's a lot of work but it will be a heck of a lot more efficient once it's completed," public works spokesman Steve Valdez said.

Not everybody is thrilled with the idea, though.

The plan eliminates a cut-through in the Lakeview median near the Shell gas station on the northeast corner. Owner George Jalo said that removing the cut-through could hurt business because many of his customers use it when they exit the station.

Jalo, who has owned the station for 13 years, circulated a petition at his Five Flags Shell a few months ago asking county commissioners to preserve the cut-through. About 110 people signed it.

"If they shut that down they're going to shut down our business," he said.

Valdez said county engineers studied Jalo's idea and concluded that keeping the cut-through would create an unsafe driving condition because it would encourage drivers to cross three lanes of traffic.

"It just did not meet acceptable engineering practices," he said.

Valdez said the reconstruction project will include new street lighting and sidewalks and bicycle lanes on both sides of Lakeview. The work is expected to start in early summer and last six to eight months.

Rich Shopes can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Dr. Delay: Pinellas traffic officials to tweak signals near Largo Mall

Dr. Delay: Pinellas traffic officials to tweak signals near Largo Mall

The Largo Mall entrance stoplight on Ulmerton Road just east of Seminole Boulevard has been causing traffic delays on eastbound Ulmerton at Seminole Boulevard. It appears that the light at the Largo Mall entrance is being triggered on-demand by folks...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17
FDOT considers transit, other options for improving Fowler Avenue in USF area

FDOT considers transit, other options for improving Fowler Avenue in USF area

TAMPA — A new study eventually could lead to better traffic flow on Fowler Avenue while offering a variety of transportation options.The $500,000 study, to take up to 18 months, focuses on the University Area and the University of South Florida. It ...
Published: 11/19/17
Updated: 11/24/17
Mother reconciles with Plant City DMV employee who made her stand outside with baby

Mother reconciles with Plant City DMV employee who made her stand outside with baby

PLANT CITY — After Liz Gately was told to wait outside the Plant City’s Tax Collector office to renew her car registration with her 1-year-old last week, the internet fought back. Facebook posts from Gately, 27, as well as bystanders and other mother...
Published: 11/16/17
Holiday events begin, annual traffic snarls follow

Holiday events begin, annual traffic snarls follow

A few favorite holiday events are gearing up and that means impact to traffic, starting with the annual Times Turkey Trot, which will temporarily close streets Thanksgiving morning in Clearwater beginning at 6 a.m. until approximately noon. The follo...
Published: 11/15/17
Moms with infants told to wait outside Plant City DMV

Moms with infants told to wait outside Plant City DMV

PLANT CITY — Liz Gatley needed to renew her car registration. As if that task wasn’t cumbersome enough, she says a Department of Motor Vehicles manager told her she had to wait outside until she could be served because her 1-year-old daughter was wit...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/11/17
The Cross Bay Ferry won’t come back this fall. What about 2018?

The Cross Bay Ferry won’t come back this fall. What about 2018?

Still waiting for the Cross Bay Ferry to return? It’s going to be a while — say, 2018 at the earliest.The ferry’s supporters, most notably St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, had hoped to bring the boat back for another season after the first six-mon...
Updated one month ago

Work on Sunshine Skyway’s rest areas to last two more years

We often go fishing near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and are wondering what’s happening with the rest area and parking lot? It looks like there’s work going on there. How long will the rest area be closed off?Mike WalkerThis is a state Department of T...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/13/17
Hillsborough loses transit leader Katharine Eagan to a better funded agency

Hillsborough loses transit leader Katharine Eagan to a better funded agency

TAMPA — Katharine Eagan, the leader of Hillsborough County’s transit agency, is leaving the job just a month after implementing a widespread overhaul of the county’s bus network.She will take over as CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny, Pa., which...
Updated one month ago
Speakers give mixed reviews to new Hillsborough bus-route overhaul

Speakers give mixed reviews to new Hillsborough bus-route overhaul

TAMPA — Hillsborough’s transit agency heard its first public comment Monday since overhauling its bus network and cutting about 20 percent of its routes last month.A handful of people spoke at the agency’s board meeting, with one praising the new net...
Updated one month ago
New DOT work plan includes $32 million for U.S. 41/SR 54 interchange

New DOT work plan includes $32 million for U.S. 41/SR 54 interchange

LAND O’LAKES — Twenty-one months ago, the Florida Department of Transportation said it was hitting the brakes on planning improvements at a traffic-clogged intersection in central Pasco.Instead, the DOT said it would await recommendations from Pasco ...
Updated one month ago