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

Lorrie Lykins
Lorrie Lykins

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 exiting Largo Mall on the south side and the Publix/Home Depot complex on the north side.

This light is causing backups and near-gridlock at the intersection. I often have to wait one or two light cycles at Seminole Boulevard when traveling east on Ulmerton because traffic is backed up all the way from the Largo Mall entrance. I see the problem most often between noon and 3 pm.

Interestingly I don’t see it that often in the morning rush hour. I see this as just getting worse as the snowbirds continue to arrive and increase traffic levels.

Paul Benton

This is a longtime hot spot for traffic tie-ups, especially, as you noted, once snowbird season is in full-swing. The good news is that the folks at Pinellas County Traffic Management are in the process of making some changes to accommodate both north and southbound traffic. The culprit is likely over-capacity of vehicles on the roadway, says Norman Jester, the county’s signal system supervisor. Jester’s team is also looking at the synchronization on Ulmerton Road and making adjustments as needed.

Barricade watch

•The state Department of Transportation has announced that there will be no interstate closures in the Tampa Bay area during the Thanksgiving holiday period, which the DOT designates as Wednesday through Sunday. This means motorists can enjoy smooth going with no closures for interstate construction zones in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties.

• Repaving work that began last month on Alt. U.S. 19 (known as Tyrone Boulevard in that stretch) from south of Park Street N to the west end of Long Bayou Bridge in St. Petersburg, is expected to be finished in the spring of 2018.

The contractor working on the DOT project will add a second left turn lane onto Park Street N from Alt. U.S. 19, constructing new curbing and gutter, and installing sections of sidewalk. Most of the construction work is happening during the daytime, with work requiring lane closures, including paving, taking place at night from 10 p.m. to 6 am. Access to driveways and side streets will be maintained during the life of the project.

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