Monday, February 19, 2018
Transportation

Lane closure at Bay Pines should clear up

There's a construction project across from the Bay Pines VA Medical Center, on Bay Pines Boulevard at 100th Way. My question concerns the closure of the westbound right lane of Bay Pines Boulevard. There was some road construction many weeks ago to add a new driveway, but there hasn't been any road work for weeks and the lane is still closed, causing very long backups, especially during rush hour. Assuming they aren't just preparing us for the new Walmart traffic, why is this lane closure allowed to still be in place? How long can they just arbitrarily close a lane for nonexistent construction?

KC Bomonti

The closure of the far right westbound lane of Bay Pines Boulevard, which forces traffic to merge from three lanes to two has indeed been in force to accommodate the large development project under way, which includes residential and large commercial retail construction.

This closure is what the state Department of Transportation refers to as a semipermanent lane closure. The DOT says it monitors and inspects the site regularly to ensure compliance with required standards such as use of advance warning signs, arrow boards and lighted drums.

"The closure had been required to remain in place for safety purposes," DOT spokeswoman Kris Carson said. The work has recently reached a point that the need for the semipermanent closure is no longer required, and Carson says the DOT office has directed the developer to open the lane to traffic when it is not required. This means the developer may utilize the lane closure again as needed (whenever work is being performed along the frontage road).

Barricade watch

•Bayshore Drive is closed today from Second to Fifth avenues NE from 6 a.m. to approximately 5 p.m. with parking restrictions in effect within the closure area. The Bayshore closure is due to an exotic car show in front of the Museum of Fine Arts, part of the MFA's Wine Weekend event. Law enforcement officers will be on hand to assist with traffic. Congestion is expected to be light.

•In Clearwater, repaving of Mandalay Avenue begins Monday. Work will start at the Clearwater Beach roundabout to Baymont Street; along Baymont Street from the beach to the Intracoastal Waterway, including parking stalls on the north and south sides of the street; along the parking lanes on southbound Mandalay Avenue; East Shore Drive and Poinsettia from Baymont to Papaya; and Papaya east of Poinsettia. The project is expected to be complete Friday. Work will be done at night, but be prepared for lane closures.

The second phase of construction of the Courtney Campbell pedestrian trail will require the closure of the Courtney Campbell Beach parking lot at Damascus Road in Clearwater through spring, which will impact spring break traffic. The state Department of Transportation project is under way from the Pinellas County border to Bayshore Boulevard in Clearwater; the completion date is March 2015.

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

Comments
New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

TAMPA — More than a dozen bus routes in Hillsborough County will have new times, paths and stops starting Sunday.The changes come almost four months after the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority rolled out an entirely new bus network, scrapp...
Updated: 6 hours ago
After Irma evacuation gridlock, new energy for Interstate 75 options

After Irma evacuation gridlock, new energy for Interstate 75 options

OCALA — In mid-2016, a regional task force that spent almost two years exploring ways to improve safety on a crowded Interstate 75 decided to take a conservative approach: make changes to the highway rather than build or expand other roads. Then Hurr...
Published: 02/18/18
Engineers push back against criticism of bus rapid transit plan

Engineers push back against criticism of bus rapid transit plan

ST. PETERSBURG — Proponents of a bus rapid transit system that would connect St. Petersburg, Tampa and Wesley Chapel pushed back Friday against recent criticism of the proposed plan.The lead engineer told a group of regional leaders that they wanted ...
Published: 02/12/18
Red-light camera challenge gets rough ride at state Supreme Court

Red-light camera challenge gets rough ride at state Supreme Court

TALLAHASSEE — Motorists hoping that the courts will pull the plug on red-light cameras may have hit a roadblock: the Florida Supreme Court.On Wednesday, the court heard arguments in a case that could decide the legality of red-light camera programs a...
Published: 02/07/18
Hillsborough leaders raise questions about bus rapid transit

Hillsborough leaders raise questions about bus rapid transit

TAMPA — Leaders in Hillsborough politics and transportation are speaking up this week about their concerns with Tampa Bay’s latest proposal to bring transit to the region. Bus rapid transit, known as BRT, emerged last month as the lead o...
Published: 02/06/18
Updated: 02/07/18
Shut down Bayshore Boulevard on Sundays? Tampa City Council is skeptical

Shut down Bayshore Boulevard on Sundays? Tampa City Council is skeptical

TAMPA — Shut down Tampa’s iconic Bayshore Boulevard on Sundays? Allow a Gasparilla every weekend, but without the drunken crowds and gaudy pirates? A group of supporters of the "Open Streets" concept pitched the idea Thursday to the Tampa City Counci...
Updated one month ago

She tried to board a flight with her ‘emotional support peacock.’ The airline said no.

Airlines are cracking down on the use of "emotional support animals" — and their case could be strengthened by a woman who tried to bring a peacock onboard a United Airlines flight.First reported by The Jet Set, a travel-focused show, a woman at Newa...
Updated one month ago
Florida among the states with the lowest number of structurally deficient bridges

Florida among the states with the lowest number of structurally deficient bridges

Florida is home to 265 "structurally deficient" bridges, according to a new report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, or ARTBA.The report examined federal data and found that there are 54,259 bridges rated "structurally def...
Updated one month ago
Bus rapid transit service must be fast, frequent, experts say

Bus rapid transit service must be fast, frequent, experts say

For years, the Tampa Bay region has been stuck in a prolonged transit fight: bus vs. rail.The form of transit is beside the point, said Art Guzzetti, vice president of the American Public Transportation Association."That’s not the problem," he said. ...
Updated one month ago
How to navigate downtown Tampa for Saturday’s Gasparilla invasion, NHL festivities

How to navigate downtown Tampa for Saturday’s Gasparilla invasion, NHL festivities

TAMPA — They may be the new kids in town when it comes to Gasparilla, but National Hockey League officials figured out the best advice for anyone coming to the all-star weekend events they have planned just around the corner from the pirate parade.Ge...
Updated one month ago