Reader Pat Daly contacted the Doc about what she views to be misleading overhead signs on the frontage road that takes traffic that has exited from northbound U.S. 19 toward access to Bryan Dairy Road and 126th Avenue N.
An overhead sign reads "Frontage Road, Bryan Dairy Rd and 126th Ave N," with two arrows pointing downward over two traffic lanes. Daly asserts that drivers using both lanes traveling north and passing through the intersection of 110th Avenue do so under the misassumption that both lanes will continue on, taking them to Bryan Dairy or 126th Avenue N, when in fact the left lane becomes the entrance ramp to U.S. 19 and the right takes traffic on the frontage road through to Bryan Dairy.
"Drivers in the left lane whose intention is to access Bryan Dairy Road rather than re-enter U.S. 19 have got to very quickly get out of the left lane," Daly, wrote, noting that while a small sign posted on the left side of the road reads "To U.S. 19," it comes a scant few yards before the lane becomes the on-ramp. Daly suggested that the state Department of Transportation remove or cover the left arrow on the overhead sign so that drivers will know that only the right lane is a through-laned.
We shared Daly's note with Kris Carson of the DOT. Carson said the sign defines lanes for the frontage road, Bryan Dairy Road and 126th Avenue in order to fully use the capacity of the two lanes. Most traffic on the frontage road south of 110th Avenue is indeed headed to either Bryan Dairy or 126th Avenue, so the idea is to direct traffic through the green traffic signal at 110th and let drivers know that both lanes can be used to reach these destinations. "Directly to the north of 110th Avenue, we inform traffic that the left lane is headed to the on-ramp for U.S. 19, giving traffic plenty of time to perform a lane change maneuver," Carson said.
Daly says that while making the most of the lanes makes sense, she disagrees that motorists have ample time to change lanes.
"At rush hour (or worse, when it is dark) if a driver is in the left lane, still believing that that lane will lead him or her to Bryan Dairy Road, then discovers the lane becomes the access ramp to U.S. 19, believe me — there is not 'plenty of time' to change lanes when you have traffic to your right," Daly said.
Carson said the DOT will look into providing signs to further communicate that the left lane will take motorists to the on-ramp.
Barricade watch: The eastbound State Road 60 ramp to southbound Interstate 275 in Hillsborough will be closed next weekend. The closure will involve the eastbound SR 60 (southbound Memorial Highway) ramp to southbound I-275 (onto the Howard Frankland Bridge toward St. Petersburg) from 11 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. April 16. The suggested detour is to continue under I-275, turn right onto Kennedy Boulevard at the traffic signal by WestShore Plaza and continue to the end, using the Kennedy Boulevard ramp to southbound I-275.
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