Thursday, January 18, 2018
Transportation

Median slows traffic on 66th Avenue S

In very recent years, St. Petersburg has installed and reinstalled multiple "speed humps" along 66th Avenue S between 22nd Street and 25th Way — less than three-tenths of a mile.

Now there is a small median installed at the four-way stop signs at 25th Way. I would like to know why the city could not use these funds to install a sidewalk along 66th Avenue S from 22nd Street eastward to enhance the safety of the many school children and other pedestrians who have to walk in the street?

Noel Hines

We checked in with Mike Frederick, St. Petersburg's transportation manager, and asked him about the newly built median on 66th Avenue S just east of Pinellas Point Drive. Frederick says that this addition was requested by the neighborhood association to help address speeding in the area.

As with all neighborhood traffic calming plans, once the city receives a request from a neighborhood group for assistance with a traffic concern, one of the first steps is a traffic study. Frederick says the traffic study in this particular neighborhood found safety concerns due to speeding.

"Motorists' speeds were recorded on 66th Avenue S between the all-way stop and the first speed hump in excess of what a reasonable person would consider safe for a residential neighborhood. The entranceway is there to remind drivers that they are leaving the arterial roadway system and entering a residential area and that they should modify their driving behavior accordingly," Frederick said.

Neighborhood roadway changes require approval of the majority of the residents where speed humps or other traffic calming installations have been requested. The installation of each design feature is based on petition signatures and a voting process for residents. This is a process that takes some time and many other factors are involved. All current and pending neighborhood traffic plans are posted to the city's website. To view the transportation page and download the plan for any neighborhood, visit the city's website, stpete.org, and search "neighborhood traffic plans."

Is there an app for Florida roadways that will help us navigate around the increased traffic due to spring break?

Joe Hodges

Yes, there's an app for that. You can download the free Florida 511 mobile app from Google Play and iTunes. You can also follow one of the 12 statewide, regional or road-specific feeds on Twitter.

In addition, the DOT's 511 Traveler Information System provides real-time traffic reports on Florida's interstates, toll roads and other major metropolitan roads, allowing motorists to get updates on accidents, congestion, construction delays, etc. This information can be accessed by dialing 511 on your phone and following the prompts, or visiting fl511.com to view interactive maps of current traffic conditions and traffic camera views,

Barricade watch

If your weekend plans include travel on Interstate 4, take note that the state Department of Transportation will close sections around Lakeland for CSX to repair railroad tracks at the Kathleen Road overpass. Westbound I-4 will be closed from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 29 at exit 41. Traffic will exit the interstate and follow the Polk Parkway to I-4 westbound. Tolls for westbound traffic on the Polk Parkway will be suspended during the closure. Local traffic westbound on I-4 to Lakeland will use exit 32/U.S. 98.

On March 30, eastbound I-4 will be closed from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Regional traffic will leave I-4 eastbound at exit 27 and follow the Polk Parkway to I-4 eastbound and local eastbound traffic on I-4 to Lakeland will use exit 28/U.S. 92. Tolls for eastbound Polk Parkway will be suspended Sunday.

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

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