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Ask Dr. Delay: 49th Street lights are set with Ulmerton Road in mind

Harriet Browder wrote the Doc to say her weekday commute northbound on 49th Street toward Ulmerton Road from the overpass at U.S. 19 is a hassle, especially between 7:30 and 8 a.m.

She wrote: "If you get caught at the red light at Lake Boulevard you will also get the red light at 110th Avenue, 118th Avenue, 126th Avenue and Ulmerton Road. If 49th Street is considered a major thoroughfare, the lights need to be synchronized."

We asked Keith Crawford, the state Department of Transportation's signals and systems engineer for our district, to address Browder's concerns. He said a previous study of the corridor found that east/west traffic upstream at the intersection of 49th Street and Ulmerton impacts the rest of 49th Street flow significantly. His e-mail included a long explanation about vehicles per hour and left-turn arrows, but the bottom line is this: Although 49th Street is a significant north-south corridor, Ulmerton is an even bigger deal going east-west. So the lights at 49th and Ulmerton are designed to maximize that east-west flow. That, of course, affects the flow on 49th, and not always in the best way.

The DOT will conduct new counts in the next few weeks.

Interstate 275

Travel time displays soon may be posted again

What's up with the travel time displays on northbound Interstate 275? That's what reader Helen Aruffo (among others) wants to know. She wrote:

"I really like the overhead electronic signs they have installed on I-275. But going north on I-275 from St. Petersburg there are no alerts or info on getting through Tampa to I-4. … When they used to post a delay getting to I-4, I'd exit at Gandy and take an alternate route."

Kris Carson of the DOT told us some of the sensors that the agency uses for communications were removed or disconnected during the I-275 northbound construction between Kennedy Boulevard and the downtown interchange. At that time, it was determined that because the department no longer had sufficient information on travel times, the travel time display segment would be discontinued.

Carson says the sensors have recently come back online, and the DOT is reviewing its travel link messages, which are in the process of being posted again.

Transportation plan

Take a look at 50-year vision for state's roads

Want to know what our streets and highways will look like 50 years from now? The final state transportation plan, known as the 2060 FTP, is complete and available online at The statewide plan for the future of transportation in Florida was developed by a 29-member committee that held hundreds of public meetings and gathered comment from more than 10,000 residents.

Until next week, happy and safe motoring!

Please e-mail Dr. Delay at to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.

Ask Dr. Delay: 49th Street lights are set with Ulmerton Road in mind 01/08/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 8, 2011 3:30am]
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