Thursday, April 19, 2018
Transportation

Ask Dr. Delay: Traffic flow change pondered in St. Pete Beach

A proposal to modify 75th Avenue and part of Gulf Boulevard has some St. Pete Beach residents concerned and suggesting alternatives.

The idea is for 75th Avenue from Blind Pass Road to Gulf Boulevard to become a one-way road for westbound traffic and Gulf Boulevard from 75th Avenue to 73rd Avenue to become one-way southbound.

The proposal is being suggested as a solution to the problem of northbound vehicles on Gulf Boulevard floating out of their lanes as they turn right turn onto 75th Avenue. This is an especially sharp, almost 90-degree turn that seems to take some motorists by surprise.

While some agree this is a problem, the concern is that the proposed solution would create other problems, including the impact on businesses. It might also require people to drive in circles to access their properties, and of course there's the issue of increased traffic on residential streets.

One suggested alternative is to install overhead signs for northbound Gulf Boulevard traffic that warns vehicles to stay in the left lane in order to continue north on Gulf Boulevard.

Another is to place stanchions in the road to act as lane dividers and guide vehicles along the turn. This would enable vehicles traveling north on Gulf Boulevard to safely round the curve onto 75th Avenue and prevent floating into the path of opposing traffic.

Don Skelton of the state Department of Transportation says his office has received a preliminary analysis from the city of St. Pete Beach and is awaiting additional information. The proposal is still in the early stage. And there is no state money allocated to cover the proposed traffic flow change.

The DOT will initiate a study to determine the extent of the floating traffic problem.

Look for new pavement markings on Park Street

Here's a follow-up to last week's item about the recent repaving of Park Street and the new perplexing pavement markings: The median area pavement markings were to be replaced this weekend with work wrapping up by today.

Readers have asked if the pavement would be milled and resurfaced, but county traffic engineers say the center of the roadway cannot be milled without damaging the integrity of the overall pavement. Touch-ups to the markings will be made as permanent markings will be installed in thermoplastic sometime next year.

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

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