Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Transportation

Dr. Delay: Those domed cameras are watching — to provide help

I notice many intersections that have multiple cameras on them but don't have the cameras that take the pictures of motorists who run red lights. Are they taking pictures of cars at these intersections? If so, what agency is taking these pictures?

Barbara Whitehurst

Intersections that have white domed cameras mounted on poles are part of the countywide traffic management system, known as the Intelligent Transportation System. Elements of the traffic management system include closed-circuit cameras for monitoring traffic in real time. That provides technicians with information they share with drivers via overhead message signs. It also allows for traffic signal adjustment during times of congestion or in response to accidents, as well as manipulating traffic lights to help emergency vehicles.

While it may be unnerving for some to know that roads are being monitored on closed circuit, it's also reassuring to know that someone is watching with access to the bigger picture and can help us decide about using alternate routes in response to changing conditions.

ITS was introduced in Pinellas County in 2006 on the major north-south arterial roads, starting with U.S. 19 and McMullen-Booth Road, followed by busy east-west arteries like Ulmerton Road, East Bay Drive, Tampa Road and Curlew Road. The most current ITS installation, which began in April, is along Roosevelt Boulevard and West Bay and East Bay drives from Gulf Boulevard to Airport Road. Most of the work is being done between midnight and 8:30 a.m. weekdays and is expected to continue through January.

To view a map of Pinellas County's long-range plan for ITS, which includes all three phases of the project to 2035, go to tinyurl.com/ob6e728.

Hooray, Keystone Road is open! Quick question: Why is the speed limit 35 mph? It is a limited-access divided highway and it seems disappointingly slower than ever. I have compared similar roads in the area, and they all have a higher speed limit. Is the city/county trying to make a little cash? (Lots of radar cars sit in the turn-through areas.)

Julie Wade

Although the Keystone Road project, which has been in the works since 2010, appears to be complete, we're not quite there yet. The project to widen the 3 miles of Keystone between U.S. 19 and East Lake Road from two to four lanes is mostly done, and while all lanes are open, work continues behind the scenes, which is why the posted speed limit is 35 mph, and, yes, motorists who exceed the limit are apparently racking up speeding tickets.

Inspection of the construction is under way. With inspectors and workers in and around the road, safety is important; hence the 35 mph limit. Once all the work is complete, by approximately Oct. 1, weather and other factors permitting, the posted speed limit will be increased to 45.

Barricade watch

• Northbound lanes of Belcher Road from Bryan Dairy Road to East Bay Drive will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. this week for milling, resurfacing and pavement marking. Suggested detours are Keene Road, 66th Street and U.S. 19. The lanes should reopen by this weekend.

• In Clearwater, S Druid Road from Corbett to Jeffords streets is under construction. Rebuilding of the road is expected to continue through Oct. 1. Local traffic is being allowed through; all other traffic should use Fort Harrison Avenue as a detour route.

Email Dr. Delay at [email protected] to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow Dr. Delay on Twitter @AskDrDelay.

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