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Ask Dr. Delay: Sometimes, the need for calming devices isn't apparent

Reader Rick Noyes is aggravated by what he views to be ill-advised use of public money on the installation of various unnecessary doodads along the road. Here's his note:

"I thought I had seen it all in ways of wasting taxpayer money, but I saw a new one this week. Wasting money to widen a street just a little so more money could be wasted by installing a stupid, totally unnecessary island in the middle of the street. I'm talking about 26th Avenue N between 60th Street and 64th Street. First we had speed bumps on 26th Avenue N and now an island. What next?"

We asked Michael Frederick, St. Petersburg's manager of neighborhood transportation, to fill us in.

Frederick said the new median, as with all traffic-calming installations throughout the city, came to be through a series of steps that included a study of vehicle speeds in the residential area, a petition from residents who live on the street and a neighborhoodwide vote.

Frederick says the type of feature to be built is based on the type of traffic-related concern.

"We are aware that these measures may not always be accepted by all citizens, but the majority of residents advise us that this is money well spent, once they have relief from speeding traffic," Frederick said.

Water main project on Belcher progresses

Here's an update on the progress of the Belcher Road water main replacement project: Work has moved south of Ulmerton Road. The southbound lanes from the intersection of Ulmerton to 118th Avenue N will be closed and north and southbound traffic will be routed into the open lanes on the east side of the road. This phase of the project will require these lanes to be closed until sometime in July.

Railroad crossing laws are for walkers, cyclists

Florida Operation Lifesaver and the Coalition of Community Traffic Safety Teams partnered last week to raise awareness about the dangers of disregarding rail crossings laws. The initiative seeks to educate the public about the dangers of disobeying railroad signals, to include pedestrians and bicyclists trespassing on railroad rights of way.

"We are constantly striving to improve the highway-rail grade crossings in Florida, however, more than half of the collisions at these public crossings occur where active warning devices, such as flashing lights and gates, exist. We encourage everyone to take these warning devices seriously and remember to look, listen and live," said Annette Lapkowski, Florida Operation Lifesaver's state coordinator. Check out the nonprofit group's website for more information at


Last week's update on the new sign that has been installed at the intersection of east/west 54th Avenue S (also known as the Pinellas Bayway/State Road 682) and north/south State Road 679 (also known as Pinellas Bayway South), which instructs motorists heading east from Road 679 toward St. Petersburg that they may make a right turn on a red light after first coming to a complete stop and if the pedestrian crossing signal is not illuminated, reads: "RIGHT ON RED ARROW AFTER STOP." Last week's update was incorrectly worded.

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: Sometimes, the need for calming devices isn't apparent 04/23/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 23, 2011 4:31am]
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