Dr. Mark Sokolov has written to the Doc on more than one occasion to express his dismay about the timing of the traffic signals on Bryan Dairy Road, particularly for eastbound traffic heading toward the Interstate 275 ramp. A recent column about the many mysteries related to the synching of signals around Pinellas County only served to stir him up again.
"It takes more time to go from the intersection of Starkey Road on Bryan Dairy heading east to the I-275 ramp than it does to go from that I-275 ramp all the way to downtown St. Pete and/or Tampa. I agree with you about it being better in the long run for motorists to have synchronized traffic signals on the major streets, so please tell me why nobody can synch the U.S. 19 light or the 49th Street light for eastbound Bryan Dairy traffic?"
Pinellas County's traffic control center has been in the process of establishing communications to the new intersections under construction on 118th Avenue/Bryan Dairy Road for several months. Norman Jester, the county's traffic signal system coordinator, told us a major piece of the work is the timing project.
"The corridor has been modeled and proposed timing changes are ready to go in. This is one of eight corridors we are working on right now," Jester wrote in an e-mail.
Two county staffers are assigned to the timing work but they also must tend to the other signal issues with a higher priority that come up daily, says Jester.
He says his department isn't ignoring the project, but resources are limited.
"When the new timing plans go in, 49th Street will remain a major street you will be crossing so you may or may not get stopped there. U.S. 19 will be the beginning of the coordinated section so depending on the direction you're traveling that may also be a stop. Eventually we will try to tie in the rest of Bryan Dairy Road west of Belcher," Jester wrote.
102nd Avenue, Seminole
What's up with that widening project?
Whatever happened to the proposed widening of 102nd Avenue in Seminole to a four-lane divided highway? That's what several readers, including Ken Christopherson of Indian Shores, have been wondering.
Christopherson wrote: "Dear Doc, did I oversleep? Six months ago there was significant coverage of the project to widen 102nd Avenue between Seminole Boulevard and Oakhurst Road. Any idea what the current status is of that project?"
We touched base with Pete Yauch, the county's director of public works and transportation, who told us there was considerable outcry about the proposed plans to widen 102nd Avenue and that based on that input, the County Commission decided to scale back the project to make only minor capacity improvements to the existing road. Even that work has been held up due to the economic situation, which has postponed any work on 102nd, other than resurfacing, indefinitely.
East Bay Drive
Rail crossings rough enough to rattle teeth
Reader Bob Schultz wrote to ask about maintenance of railroad crossings, specifically the one at East Bay Drive a little west of Seminole Boulevard/Missouri Avenue as well as the crossing on Seminole Boulevard heading north just south of East Bay Drive. Schlutz describes both as teeth-rattlers and safety risks.
While the paved approaches of any crossing are the responsibility of the city, state or county (depending on the jurisdiction), the tracks themselves are the responsibility of CSX railroad. In the case of the East Bay crossing, the rubber panels have come loose and CSX should be making the needed repairs. We have passed our reader e-mails about this crossing along.
Until next year, happy and safe motoring!
Please e-mail Dr. Delay at email@example.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.