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Dr. Delay: New 'exit only' pavement messages to deter danger on I-275

Reader Richard E. Kirby Sr. contacted the Doc recently about the 38th Avenue N exit lane of southbound Interstate 275:

"I have been seeing articles lately that the Florida Highway Patrol and local police agencies have stepped up enforcement in the area due to drivers using the lane to pass on the right side then suddenly merge back into the through lane, causing other drivers to brake suddenly or take other evasive actions due to this aggressive driving. I drive that stretch of I-275 all the time and have experienced that very behavior many times. Why is the lane not marked as it approaches the southbound 38th Avenue N exit with white info-striping alerting drivers that the lane ends in a certain number of feet like so many other exits? … Another idea would be to place signs as you are emerging from under the southbound 54th Avenue N overpass stating the right lane is ending ahead, merge left.

Kris Carson of the state Department of Transportation said the DOT has no objection to installing "exit only" pavement messages on southbound I-275 for this and other exit lane drop-off lanes — as has already been done on southbound I-275 at 22nd Avenue S.

"Regarding additional signing, we have an existing overhead 'exit only' sign structure at a distance of a quarter mile from this exit, and there is no room to install another sign structure and still meet our minimum spacing requirements. We will instead start the application of the proposed 'exit only' pavement messages," Carson told us.

In Tampa, Platt Street bridge closes Monday

Here's another reminder for the folks who commute into Tampa: The Platt Street bridge, which carries one-way eastbound traffic over the Hillsborough River and connects to Bayshore Boulevard and South Tampa, is to be closed effective Monday.

Work on upgrading the 84-year-old drawbridge is expected to last about three months. It's scheduled to be complete by next spring. Pinellas commuters can opt for the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway rather than Bayshore Boulevard. Get information and updates at hillsboroughcounty.org/pwprojects.

First Avenue bike lane pavement repaired

Reader Lenore Sinibaldi alerted us that the bike lane pavement on First Avenue N near 49th Street had a bump caused by a spill of macadam (hard road surface made from small bits of stone and mixed with tar or asphalt) that presented a danger to cyclists. Sinibaldi said she noticed the spill during the repaving of First Avenue N from 34th Street to 49th Street, but a recent incident spurred her to contact us and city officials. Sinibaldi told us a cyclist pedaling west in the bike lane hit the bump and was ejected into the travel lane and into the path of a westbound vehicle. Thankfully, the motorist was able to swerve around the downed cyclist and stopped to help. The cyclist is okay, and a street maintenance crew has removed the bump. Sinibaldi cycled along the route last week and reported that it's smooth as silk.

Sewer repair to blame for last week's closure

Seminole motorists have asked about the reason for the closing last week of two lanes of 113th Street N between 70th and 71st terraces. The lanes were closed due to a sanitary sewer repair project conducted by Pinellas County.

Until next week, happy and safe motoring!

Please e-mail Dr. Delay at DocDelay@gmail.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity. Follow the Doc on Facebook by searching for Ask Dr. Delay.

Dr. Delay: New 'exit only' pavement messages to deter danger on I-275 10/01/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 1, 2011 4:31am]
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