Thursday, January 18, 2018
Transportation

Bike sign near Gandy/I-275 ramp leads to confusion

The entrance ramp on westbound Gandy Boulevard to Interstate 275 south has two signs as you enter the ramp with the icon of a bicycle and an arrow pointing to the ground. Could you explain this please? I thought bicycles were prohibited from the interstate.

Tim White

The signs you've noticed are bicycle crossing warning signs intended to alert motorists of westbound bicycle traffic. Cyclists heading westbound use the shoulder of the road to travel across the on-ramp.

There seems to be some confusion at the intersection of Seminole Boulevard at Ulmerton Road heading south. Before the intersection there is a sign that says "Right Turn Only." Many folks who want to go straight down Seminole are in the right lane. Others drivers assume it is a right-turn lane only and get very angry at the drivers who want to proceed south on Seminole Boulevard. Is the right-turn only sign valid?

Darlene Wilder

The sign slightly north of the southbound Alt. 19/Seminole Boulevard and Ulmerton Road intersection reads "Right Lane MUST Turn Right," and it is indeed a valid sign that should be observed by motorists.

The Doc took a spin through the intersection last week and it looks like the confusion may be due to a combination of factors.

First, this section of Alt. 19 at Ulmerton is still a construction site, so the current lanes are not permanent and construction barrels are all over the road. Southbound traffic has a dedicated left-turn lane with an arrow marking on the pavement for traffic to turn east from Alt. 19 onto Ulmerton Road. There is also a center through-lane for traffic to continue south on Seminole Boulevard, and the right-turn only lane. But the right turn lane has no pavement markings, which may be part of the issue and the sign doesn't give motorists who may be unfamiliar with the road and the construction situation much time (and there's little room) to maneuver out of the right lane.

Could you provide some up-to-date information on the road work on 31st Street south of 54th Avenue S? There was a rather short-term project completed on this stretch of road earlier in the year, and it seems everyone had notice. The current work began some weeks ago (with little or no notice) and it doesn't seem to be moving very quickly. The traffic lights at 31st and 54th have been manually set, with no regard to traffic volume. Any information would be helpful. Is it connected with the residential construction project on 31st Street S?

Russell Harris

The work is related to a major sewer improvement project, which the city has segmented into work zones that move northward as each segment is completed. The work zone on 31st Street from 54th Avenue S to 58th Avenue S has now been paved and reopened to two lanes of traffic in each direction. Some minor work remains at 31st Street and 58th Avenue S, so traffic flow is temporarily reduced to one lane in each direction.

Additional work zones with accompanying lane closures are scheduled for the coming weeks and months. In all cases, a minimum of one lane in each direction will be maintained as will access to property, says Tom Gibson, the city's engineering director.

Here's what's happening now and what's ahead:

• Work along 54th Avenue S between 16th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street will affect the westbound lane only and will be completed with the lane reopened by early November.

•Work along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street at Country Club Way S and between 38th and 40th Avenues S has traffic reduced to one lane in each direction. This work should be completed in about two months, then work will move to the next zone at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street between 18th and 15th Avenues S. This phase will take about two months.

•Work along 11th Avenue S between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street and Third Street will detour westbound traffic to 13th Avenue S while eastbound traffic and local access traffic will be able to use 11th Avenue S. This phase is expected to last about three months and then work will progress northward along Third Street from 11th Avenue S.

•The final work zone is along Eighth Avenue SE between First Street S and the U.S. Coast Guard Station. Paving work has begun and additional work will begin in the eastern portion of Eighth Avenue SE in front of the SRI facility in late October. This phase will take about two months while stormwater improvements are made. Residents of the neighborhood should note that two-way traffic will be maintained during the work, which will temporarily affect street parking.

Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay.

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