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Ask Dr. Delay: Traffic light confusion at Seminole Boulevard and Ulmerton Road

The traffic light on northbound Seminole Boulevard at Ulmerton Road has some drivers confused about whether to stop before turning.

KRISTEN LYKINS | Special to the Times

The traffic light on northbound Seminole Boulevard at Ulmerton Road has some drivers confused about whether to stop before turning.

Several traffic signals around the county seem to be less intuitive than others, judging by some of the mail the Doc receives. One that regularly flummoxes drivers is on northbound Seminole Boulevard at the intersection of Ulmerton Road. It's the designated green arrow that directs northbound Seminole Boulevard traffic east onto Ulmerton Road that has generated the same question from many readers.

Reader Debbie Doyle wrote, "Dr. Delay, there is a right-turn light on Seminole Boulevard at Ulmerton Road heading east that has a green arrow and a red light lit simultaneously. No one knows what to do here. Do you stop then make the right turn, or do you go ahead and make the right turn without stopping?

The Doc took a spin through the intersection and then parked in the lot of a business on the corner and watched several cycles of the light to see how motorists react to it. About half cruised through the green arrow without stopping and the other half stopped first and then turned, as one would when turning right on a red light. Others stopped, then started to turn then stopped, obviously tentative and perhaps confused.

The correct approach in cases such as this is to cautiously proceed through the green arrow, emphasis on the word cautious for obvious reasons. In addition to that, Florida's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices also says:

"Such vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left or making a U-turn movement, shall yield the right-of-way to: (a) Pedestrians lawfully within an associated crosswalk, and (b) other vehicles lawfully within the intersection."

You can download the entire manual at mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/index.htm.

St. Petersburg

28th Street closed for railroad reconstruction

CSX Transportation is replacing and reconstructing the railroad crossing on 28th Street near 34th Avenue N. This means 28th Street is closed to traffic between 30th and 38th avenues N. Northbound traffic is being detoured at 30th Avenue N to 16th Street and southbound traffic is being detoured at 38th Avenue N to 34th Street. Work should wrap up by Nov. 20.

St. Petersburg

Kidney walk downtown is scheduled for today

If you plan on driving in downtown St. Petersburg this morning, please be mindful that today is the annual Tampa Bay Area Kidney Walk. Participants will assemble at 8:30 a.m. at Progress Energy Park (Al Lang Field), with the walk starting at 10 a.m. The walkers' route will be along Bayshore Drive SE between First and Fifth avenues S and within Albert Whitted Park. Off-duty police officers will be on hand to control traffic for the event, which should wrap up around noon.

Until next week, happy and safe motoring!

Please e-mail Dr. Delay at docdelay@yahoo.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.

Ask Dr. Delay: Traffic light confusion at Seminole Boulevard and Ulmerton Road 11/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 13, 2010 3:30am]
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