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Ask Dr. Delay: Help! Courtney Campbell Parkway is a real drag

Q: For the past three weeks, eastbound traffic on the Courtney Campbell Parkway has been backed up every morning. The traffic comes to a complete stop, is solid, and moves in very small increments. This begins on the west side of the causeway and continues all the way to Rocky Point. It is taking 25 to 45 minutes to cross the bay. Some drivers are going on the beach access roads at a high rate of speed to circumvent the backup and then attempt to re-enter traffic. There are no construction or accident delays to account for this. Perhaps it is an issue with traffic lights at the boat ramp, by Ben T. Davis Beach, or at Rocky Point? Could you please look into this extremely frustrating situation and advise what the cause is, and what can be done to resolve it?

C. Dowd

The Doc checked in with Kris Carson of the state Department of Transportation, who said that whenever a road is resurfaced, layers of asphalt are removed before the new asphalt is placed down. Sensors or wires in the road that are used for signal detection can be damaged during the process. That is what occurred with the Courtney Campbell. Unfortunately, the replacement wiring was installed, but the equipment failed to work properly. Carson says the defective wires have been replaced, and hopefully this issue has been corrected. The DOT will monitor the causeway for further problems and make adjustments accordingly.

Q: Are there any plans to fix the north segment of the intersection of Ninth Avenue N and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street? The street looks like it was worked on in the past, and the repair patch has a very bad dip in it, as well as a washboard surface on the north part of the intersection. I have witnessed several older drivers almost lose control of their vehicles after entering that section of road. Maybe a fix can be done to eliminate a problem that seems to be getting worse?

Doug Barnette

We asked the city's traffic engineering folks to take a look at the intersection and an employee went out to inspect the area last week. As a result, work orders have been generated to the appropriate city departments to repair the road slippage and depression as soon as possible, according to public works representative Deborah Larson.

Q: My question is what to do when in the eastbound right-turn lane on Sunset Point Road at McMullen Booth Road. I wonder if there should be a yield sign there as it has a "cut out" lane there. I'm a firm believer and practitioner of a complete stop before turning right on red and am tired of getting honked at due to the lack of a sign. Please look into this.

Bruce Blence

Tom Washburn, manager of Pinellas County's traffic engineering section, told us that a yield sign would be appropriate for this intersection if it didn't have a pedestrian island. "However, what we have been placing at signalized intersections where we have a separate right turn lane with a channelizing island is a 'Stop here for pedestrian' sign. We will place one of these for both the eastbound and westbound directions."

Email Dr. Delay at to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay. Questions selected for publication may be edited.

Ask Dr. Delay: Help! Courtney Campbell Parkway is a real drag 06/09/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 9, 2012 4:30am]
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