Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ask Dr. Delay: Construction makes Ulmerton Road traffic a challenge

Today’s Toy Run starts and ends at Jim’s Harley-Davidson in St. Petersburg.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2011)

Today’s Toy Run starts and ends at Jim’s Harley-Davidson in St. Petersburg.

I traveled west on Ulmerton about 4:40 p.m. on two occasions this past week. The light at Starkey Road was green, but traffic couldn't proceed because traffic was so backed up. I understand that construction on Ulmerton Road will last another year, but why can't traffic lights between Belcher and Ridge roads be synched to help traffic move along? It seems side streets control the flow of traffic too much.

D. Molloy

Ken Jacobs of Pinellas County's infrastructure department says Ulmerton Road is a significant traffic management challenge right now because of the current phase of construction, which, unfortunately, requires the closure of lanes during peak traffic periods. And while it may not seem so, technicians from the county's traffic management center have been monitoring the road and making adjustments in real time in response to conditions. County workers have also been on-site keeping an eye on things, but the influx of seasonal traffic is making the already tall order of keeping traffic moving through the construction zone an even taller order.

"We have and continue to have technicians in the field making modifications to the timing to try and relieve any backups, but the majority of these issues are due to the decrease in capacity caused by the lane closures," Jacobs said.

Barricade watch

The state Department of Transportation has suspended interstate closures in the bay area during the official Thanksgiving holiday period, which extends through Monday morning. Suspensions include Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hernando and Pasco counties. The only exception is a few closures on the Selmon Expressway and 20th, 21st, and 22nd Streets under the expressway.

Toy Run today

The annual Jim's Harley-Davidson Toy Run hits the road today starting at 10 a.m. at Jim's Harley-Davidson at 54th Avenue N and 28th Street. More than 500 motorcycle riders are expected to participate in the charity ride, which benefits area schools with gifts for the holidays. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and St. Petersburg Police Department will partner to manage the ride route as it progresses.

Here's an overview of the route: Riders will head west on 54th Avenue N to Park Street, then south to the intersection of Park and Bay Pines Boulevard. They will turn right, then head west on Bay Pines Boulevard out to the beach, then head south along Gulf Boulevard all the way to Pass-a-Grille, loop around the end of Pass-a-Grille and head north back up Gulf Boulevard to the causeway at Pasadena Avenue. From there, they will turn right onto First Avenue S and proceed to 28th Street, turn left and head back to Jim's Harley-Davidson.

Organizers say motorists should expect delays and be alert to crossings at intersections due to the large number of participants, particularly along 28th Street and Pasadena Avenue. To avoid the rider route, stay east of 28th Street or use the interstate between 10 a.m. and noon.

Email Dr. Delay at to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions.

Ask Dr. Delay: Construction makes Ulmerton Road traffic a challenge 11/29/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 29, 2013 3:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash


    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle


    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators


    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.