Sunday, June 17, 2018
Transportation

Dr. Delay: Visibility an issue on Ulmerton, where more projects are planned

I have several issues of concern on Ulmerton Road between 34th and 40th streets. On the south side of Ulmerton, the far right lane is dedicated for right turns into the many driveways for businesses. The lack of lighting at night or in the rain forces drivers to guess where the driveway pavement ends and the dirt begins (or where the nearby ditch begins).

Most of the businesses, except the gas station at the corner of 34th Street that is brightly lit, lack markings of any kind — paint, guardrails, embedded reflectors or reflectors on posts; curbs; streetlights; or visual warning or delineation of the drainage ditch that runs between Ulmerton Road and the properties. At the very least the sides of the driveways should be marked with white lines for safety and sanity.

Irma Wehle

On Ulmerton, recent road projects have used a combination of driveway material, including asphalt, concrete and blends of both. Sticking to concrete exclusively may help delineate the driveways, according to Kris Carson, of the state Department of Transportation, who told us that engineers will look into this.

But wait, there's more: Two projects are in the works for Ulmerton that will take us into 2016.

Lights will be installed along both sides of Ulmerton from 40th Street to 34th Street to fill the lighting gap. Progress Energy will install lights from 40th Street to just west of 34th Street, and standard DOT lighting will be installed for the remainder of the reconstruction and widening period.

Also, the ditch will be converted to a pipe system east of State Road 686/Roosevelt Boulevard, and driveways will be radial type with curbing in the road/sidewalk area.

The first project, from west of 38th Street to west of Interstate 275, will be put out to bid for contractors in September. Construction would start in early 2013. The second project, from east of 49th Street to west of 38th Street, is scheduled to begin in 2016.

What is the proper "etiquette" when an ambulance is traveling with lights and sirens on the interstate?

Susan Topkin

We all know that when we become aware of an approaching emergency vehicle that is obviously en route to an emergency (lights on, siren sounding), we need to yield the right of way by moving to a position that safely clears the way for that vehicle to get through. According to Florida law, this means that all vehicles (and pedestrians too, by the way) must move to "a position parallel to, and as close as reasonable to, the closest edge of the curb of the roadway, clear of any intersection," stop, and remain in place until the emergency vehicle has passed.

When driving on an interstate or other highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle, we need to yield by moving over, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer. Florida law states that if this movement can't be safely executed, drivers must reduce their speed to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit when the limit is 25 mph or greater. And when we spot an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the road, common sense needs to prevail — vehicles should move out of the lane closest to the parked vehicles and give them plenty of room.

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.

Comments
Petition language reveals details of Hillsborough sales tax transportation initiative

Petition language reveals details of Hillsborough sales tax transportation initiative

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections on Friday approved petition language that will let a new group of transportation advocates begin gathering the 48,000 signatures they need to get a sales tax initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot.All ...
Published: 06/15/18
Carlton: A trolley instead of a boondoggle? About time, Tampa

Carlton: A trolley instead of a boondoggle? About time, Tampa

You could rightly call the vintage streetcars that trundle between downtown Tampa and Ybor City big, beautiful boondoggles.Charming?Yes. An integral part of this city’s unique history?Absolutely.And in their current incarnation, overpriced, inefficie...
Published: 06/15/18
Federal judge halts work on Suncoast 2 toll road

Federal judge halts work on Suncoast 2 toll road

U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. granted a temporary restraining order on Thursday to halt the work that has already begun on the extension of the Suncoast Parkway — aka the controversial "Suncoast 2."The toll road now ends at U.S. 98 at the n...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Hillsborough group pushing new referendum on raising sales tax for transportation

Hillsborough group pushing new referendum on raising sales tax for transportation

TAMPA — In 2010, Hillsborough voters soundly rejected a 1 cent sales tax hike backed by their elected leaders to raise billions of dollars for roads, bus expansion and light rail. In 2016, county commissioners helped develop a new transportation plan...
Published: 06/14/18
SunPass apologizes to customers who couldn’t access accounts after website maintenance

SunPass apologizes to customers who couldn’t access accounts after website maintenance

Users were unable to access their SunPass accounts on Monday after the release of a system redesign that took the system’s web site, app and hotlines down for a week.From June 5-11, the SunPass website, hotlines and mobile app were taken down for sys...
Published: 06/14/18
Elon Musk to build 125 mph underground transit line serving Chicago O’Hare

Elon Musk to build 125 mph underground transit line serving Chicago O’Hare

Elon Musk has taken on a task perhaps more challenging than launching rockets into space: getting passengers from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to the Loop in 12 minutes, roughly three to four times as fast as the current taxi journey.The plan for the "Ch...
Published: 06/14/18
This trooper pulled over a driver - then realized the man had delivered him nearly 27 years ago

This trooper pulled over a driver - then realized the man had delivered him nearly 27 years ago

New Jersey state trooper Michael Patterson was on patrol recently when he pulled over a white BMW for a routine traffic stop.He asked the driver for his license and registration, and the two started making small talk. It turned out that the driver, M...
Published: 06/13/18
Fares eliminated on downtown Tampa trolley following FDOT grant

Fares eliminated on downtown Tampa trolley following FDOT grant

TAMPA — Fares on the TECO Line Streetcar in downtown Tampa will be eliminated for three years following a grant funded by the Florida Department of Transportation.The grant provide $2.67 million to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, allowing it to t...
Published: 06/12/18
Tampa road work forces office workers to wait up to an hour to get out of their parking garage every day

Tampa road work forces office workers to wait up to an hour to get out of their parking garage every day

TAMPA — At 42 floors tall, the largest office building on Florida’s Gulf Coast offers some spectacular views.But good luck getting out of it.Since the start of a $5.7 million street resurfacing project late last year on Kennedy Boulevard and Jackson ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18
After 43 years driving cabs, he has plenty of stories to tell

After 43 years driving cabs, he has plenty of stories to tell

A criminal on the run? Check. Two drunk elderly women seeking a threesome? Check. A repentant murderer? A possible ghost? A stabbing victim who doesn’t seem to know he’s been stabbed? Check, check and check. Come up with an outrageous scenario and Je...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18