Has First Avenue S turned into convoy heaven? Reader Ray Cartmell contacted the Doc to share his observation that the one-way corridor looks more and more like a truck stop. Cartmell wrote:
"First Avenue S between 60th and 58th streets has become a parking lot for all manner of heavy haulers! There are l8-wheel semi rigs, large flatbed sod carriers, rigs that carry up to six or eight, backhoe haulers and other types of large rigs. Aren't there special parking areas for these big rigs?"
The curbside parking of commercial trucks along First Avenue S is, believe it or not, perfectly legal, according to Lt. William Korinek of the St. Petersburg Police Department's traffic section.
"Our officers are familiar with this complaint and have been in contact with the City Codes department to determine if any ordinances prohibit parking of commercial vehicles at that location. City Ordinance does prohibit parking of commercial vehicles in residential areas. The area in question, however, is zoned commercial, which allows for parking of these vehicles," Korinek wrote in an e-mail last week.
While that may be good news for the truckers (who apparently already knew this), it can't be all that great for the folks who live in the neighborhood, especially when considering the beep-beep-beeping of the big rigs backing into position and other associated noise.
54th Avenue S
Markings, signs work to keep intersections clear
Lots of readers have been asking the Doc about pavement markings that have appeared on westbound 54th Avenue S just before the Pinellas Bayway toll plaza. The marks are squares with a large "X" in the center. There's also one on the westbound approach to the Corey Causeway Bridge that leads to St. Pete Beach.
We checked in with the state Department of Transportation and learned that the markings were installed to correspond with signs warning motorists not to block the intersection. The markings are used in areas where traffic tends to stack up and block traffic from moving through intersections.
"It is an enhancement to the regulatory signing indicating DO NOT BLOCK INTERSECTION. … It was also applied on Corey Causeway at Sun Island Boulevard, where we also have received complaints about traffic blocking this intersection," said Marian Scorza of the DOT.
Seventh St./30th Ave. N
Tree limbs won't stand in way of stop sign
Reader Annette Moore wrote in to point out that newly planted landscaping was blocking a stop sign at the corner of southbound Seventh Street and 30th Avenue N, creating a dangerous situation. We alerted Mike Frederick, the city's manager of neighborhood transposition about the sign-hugging tree. A city worker was sent to check out the situation, and the tree in question has been pruned. Frederick told us that although the trimming has done the trick for now, he'll make sure that limbs blocking the stop sign are removed or that the tree is moved.
46th Avenue N
Improvement project remains on schedule
Reader Charles Goding asked us for an update on the ongoing project to improve 46th Avenue N. Goding says he has been using Park Boulevard, 54th Avenue N and 38th Avenue N as alternate routes to get home after work, but he finds these to be congested at rush hour. We checked in with Pinellas County Public Works and asked how things are coming along.
Spokesperson Marq Caughell told us work resumed last week on improvements along 46th Avenue N from 80th Street to 62nd Street. The project is on schedule. In late April, a section that has been closed to two-way traffic since November should be reopened.
Motorists should also be aware of lane closures in Lealman on 49th Street N, which will last a few weeks. The right northbound lane and the southbound left-turn lane of 49th Street between 58th Avenue N and Carrier Street will be closed for the construction of a sewer pump station. Expect detours until the project is complete.
The Doc is readying her annual roundup of readers' motoring pet peeves. Send yours along, and it might be included.
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