Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State cancels plan to narrow State Road 60 near downtown Clearwater

The FDOT wanted to take dramatic measures to improve safety where the Pinellas Trail crosses the main route to and from Clearwater Beach.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

The FDOT wanted to take dramatic measures to improve safety where the Pinellas Trail crosses the main route to and from Clearwater Beach.

CLEARWATER — Remember the state's controversial plan to narrow Court and Chestnut streets from four lanes to two lanes where those streets reach the Pinellas Trail?

Never mind.

After hearing loud complaints from Clearwater's elected officials, the Florida Department of Transportation is ditching the plan.

"Because of the concerns out there with the possible lane reduction we were looking at, we're not going to do that," said FDOT spokeswoman Kris Carson.

State transportation officials had been thinking of taking dramatic measures to improve safety where the Pinellas Trail crosses State Road 60, the main route to and from Clearwater Beach.

At that point, State Road 60 is separated into one-way Court Street, heading west, and one-way Chestnut Street, heading east. Bicyclists and pedestrians who use the 34-mile trail have called for safety improvements at those busy crossings.

FDOT's proposal originally called for the two outside lanes on Court Street to be blocked by raised concrete islands with flashing lights. Vehicles in the outer lanes would have been forced to turn left or right at Myrtle Avenue, just before the trail crossing. Meanwhile, the inner two lanes would have continued on toward Clearwater Beach. The strategy on eastbound Chestnut would have been similar, funneling four lanes down to two.

The Clearwater City Council wasn't happy to hear this — especially regarding Court Street, where beach-bound traffic already backs up for long distances during spring break and on busy beach weekends.

"This is the dumbest idea I've ever heard," Vice Mayor Paul Gibson said upon learning of the plan in late October. Mayor George Cretekos called FDOT's regional director for the Tampa Bay area to weigh in.

"I think the input from the City Council helped a great deal," said Clearwater's traffic operations manager, Paul Bertels.

Carson, the FDOT spokeswoman, said transportation engineers still plan to install flashing lights for pedestrians at the Pinellas Trail crossing, but they won't block any traffic lanes.

"When people go to cross the road, they would activate the flashing beacons," Carson said. "Those have worked fairly well in other areas."

The beacons are to be added during a repaving of that stretch of State Road 60, which is scheduled for early 2015.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4151. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

State cancels plan to narrow State Road 60 near downtown Clearwater 12/20/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 20, 2012 7:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  2. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea

    National

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  4. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography

    Crime

    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea

    Politics

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.