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Gandy intersection changes befuddle drivers

We've had lots of mail lately regarding the reworked intersection of Gandy Boulevard and 16th Street N.

The intersection, which recently was relocated a few hundred feet east of its previous location, has thrown drivers a few curve balls. First, eastbound drivers on Gandy were flummoxed by conflicting speed signs; one posted the speed limit at 45 mph, the other 55 mph within a couple of feet of one another.

And left turns for traffic heading west on Gandy from 94th Avenue are a tad stressful with two lanes of traffic controlled by stop signal joined by a third stream of traffic coming from an adjacent lane controlled by a stop sign. Eastbound traffic on Gandy also can no longer turn right on the red light, a change that is taking some getting used to even though there are a total of four NO RIGHT TURN ON RED signs posted.

Another issue is that southbound 16th Street traffic comes through the intersection and is immediately confronted with the end of the roadway requiring a left or right turn — straight ahead is a pond. Other than a sign indicating left or right turn, there's nothing to stop a car from going into the pond, a concern several readers have raised. As if that weren't enough, eastbound traffic on 94th has a stop sign there, but many drivers seem to be irritated by the incoming flow of traffic, clearly assuming that the intersection is a four-way stop.

Thomas Gibson, St. Petersburg's engineering director, told us last week that the conflicting speed signs have been corrected and that final inspection of the intersection by the state is pending. Any adjustments or changes deemed necessary will be directed by the state Department of Transportation. In the meantime, the intersection's design engineer has been asked to look into the request from readers that a guardrail be installed to prevent errant drivers from winding up in the pond.

Project won't extend 34th Street turn lane

Reader Tom Banks wrote us about the recent road work around the intersection of 38th Avenue N and 34th Street: "I was wondering if there were any plans to lengthen the 34th Street southbound left-turn lane? The lane is too short for the volume of traffic trying to turn left onto eastbound 38th Avenue N."

Kris Carson of the state DOT told us a gain of about 50 feet would cost somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000. And because of the location of the bridge, no additional length can be added beyond the 50 feet.

Carson said the lengthening project would allow for only two more cars in line, and wouldn't be worth the cost. As a side note, Carson said, the DOT is rebuilding the traffic signal at the intersection, installing a mast arm in the next six to nine months.

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.

Gandy intersection changes befuddle drivers 11/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 5, 2011 4:30am]
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