It must be springtime because like clockwork, the Doc's mailbox is on overload with e-mails about errant bicyclists.
Readers from one end of the county to the other are peeved by packs of cyclists hogging the roads and disregarding traffic rules. Some readers have even included photos of the offending packs in the act.
Reader Jeff Davis (who is an avid bike rider) wrote:
"Doc, I know this is not a new subject for you, but here's a question maybe you can get answers on: Why does the bike club that uses Third Street S feel they are above any law when it come to sharing the road (this takes place numerous days a week)?
They cry constantly that they have a right to be on the roadways yet they try their hardest to control the roadways, they do not stop for stop signs or traffic signals, they do not use bicycle lanes that are provided and they are at times the most arrogant disrespectful people on the roads. … If you or I or anyone for that matter were to drive a vehicle the same way these bicyclists do, it would be ticket heaven for the police, yet nothing is done."
Another reader wrote: "It has been a couple of years since I last wrote about this problem, but it hasn't changed. Every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. give or take, a large group of bicyclists takes over a portion of Oakhurst Road/Indian Rocks Road. …
This morning the group was 20 to 30 strong and not even making a pretense of keeping to one side of the traffic lane. They were spread across the lane generally three, sometimes four riders wide, with auto traffic backing up behind them. … Why can nothing be done to control this group?"
The answer to both readers and everyone else who has written in recently is that I cannot account for why some folks choose to follow the traffic laws and others do not, no matter how many wheels they may be riding on. All we can hope for is that common sense will prevail, since I have yet to see a pack of riders pulled over by law enforcement.
22ND AVENUE N
Residents say street has become a speedway
Although the Honda Grand Prix has wrapped for the year, some wannabe racers have turned 22nd Avenue N into a speed track. The Doc has heard from many readers recently who complain about extreme speeds on 22nd Avenue N. Here's a sample of the letters and e-mails we've received:
"Hi Doc, traffic on 22nd Avenue N is a prime example of people getting to their destination at all costs. The problem is excessive speed in a residential neighborhood. The limit is 40 mph but the speeds are excessive and no one seems to care. The stretch from 34th to 43rd streets is like driving on a racetrack and if they make the light then the race continues to 49th Street. "
U.S. 19 at ALDERMAN
Highway advisories on radio, cell phone, Web
The snarl that occurred last week on U.S. 19 N near Alderman due to a water main break reminded the Doc that motorists can tune to 1690 AM to listen to local highway advisories. The signal isn't as strong in some parts of the county as others, but it's an additional helpful resource to try when you're in need of information or an alternate route to get you to where you're going.
When traveling on state roads, dial 511 on your cell phone for information on traffic conditions.
And if you're near a computer, of course, tampabay.com is a great source for information on incidents that are shutting down traffic.
Doc Delay is on twitter! Get news from the road at www.twitter.com/DocDelay. Please e-mail Dr. Delay at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions.