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Sidewalk parking a recurring problem

My complaint is vehicles blocking sidewalks. I know that this must happen all over St. Petersburg but my concern is 26th Avenue N on the north side of the street from 58th to 66th streets. I walk this on a regular basis and it is very annoying. Cars, RVs and boats are forever blocking the sidewalk, causing pedestrians and people using wheelchairs to exit the sidewalk and maneuver up the street.

Joe Slatton

There is no easy solution to this problem, because, as you note, this is a problem everywhere. Although parking a vehicle on or across a sidewalk is prohibited by Florida Statutes and can indeed create hazards if pedestrians or the disabled are forced out into the street, it is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation. State law allows the municipality or county to adopt ordinances about parking.

Vehicles that are blocking sidewalks can be reported to the local law enforcement agency's nonemergency phone number. If you're in the city of St. Petersburg, the nonemergency number is (727) 893-7780. If it's county, call the Sheriff's Office nonemergency number: (727) 582-6200.

I would like to know who has the right-of-way at an intersection in the following situation: large intersection with dedicated lanes and signals for making left turns, (think Belcher and Ulmerton roads). The turn light goes green, and someone in the left-hand turn lane is making a U-turn. There is someone making a right-hand turn on red to the left of the person making a U-turn. Who has the right-of-way?

Jeremy Hester

The vehicle that has the green light always has the right of way, whether the motorist is executing a full turn or a U-turn (assuming a U-turn is permitted). Right-turning vehicles may do so on a red signal at intersections that permit such turns (not all intersections around the county do), only after first coming to a full stop and yielding to the turning traffic that has the green light and pedestrians who may be in the crosswalk. To read Florida's laws regarding traffic regulations online, visit flsenate.gov/statutes, click on the motor vehicles link, then select chapter 316 (State Uniform Traffic Control) and scroll down to statute 316.075.

Barricade watch

The 21st Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on the campus of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Be prepared for road closures around the festival area as well as law enforcement on hand to direct traffic. Parking is available in city garages.

Expect lane closures and delays along 38th Avenue N from Interstate 275 to Haines Road as work to upgrade sidewalks continues. The projected is expected to wrap up about Nov. 7.

Sidewalk upgrade work is also taking place along 62nd Avenue N from 34th Street to 30th Street. The work is expected to be ongoing until the first week of December. Watch for flaggers in the roadway and expect lane closures.

In Clearwater, be prepared for alternating lane closures and delays on U.S. 19 from Sunset Point Road to Countryside Boulevard due to milling and resurfacing. The work is expected to last until mid November.

Cleveland Street will be fully closed from Osceola Avenue to the waterfront today for the Clearwater Jazz Festival. Traffic can detour via Park Street.

Dr. Delay can be reached at docdelay@gmail.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions or follow @AskDrDelay on Twitter.

Sidewalk parking a recurring problem 10/17/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 17, 2013 5:30pm]

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