Plenty of Seminole drivers have contacted the Doc to grumble about the construction on Ulmerton Road. Rose Merritt asked about the intersection of Ulmerton and northbound Seminole Boulevard, which was previously three lanes for through traffic with a westbound turn and an eastbound turn lane onto Ulmerton Road, which she says has been altered in a way that confuses motorists.
"Now that they have moved the lanes around to allow for construction, it appears to be the same configuration until you get in front of the Largo Mall. At that point, without any signage or warning, the right-hand northbound lane becomes the east turn lane. A sign before the light at 126th Avenue warning that the right lane is turn-only in 100 feet or so would allow drivers to get in the correct lane before the light at Ulmerton. This is an extremely busy intersection and with an influx of seasonal residents coming back into the area, this is an accident waiting to happen."
Kris Carson of the state Department of Transportation told us that during construction the configuration was changed to two through lanes. One northbound through lane had to be eliminated to allow for construction on the west side of Seminole Boulevard. However, the DOT did not change the configuration of the right turn lane.
"There is one 'right lane must turn' sign installed on the right side of the road on the northbound lane at the beginning of the turn lane, as well as arrows on the pavement indicating this is a right-turn lane. However, we are going to add additional signage to notify motorists," Carson said recently.
New website promotes pedestrian, bike safety
Do you know the basics of Florida's pedestrian and bicycle safety laws? If not, check out the DOT's website showcasing its new pedestrian and bike safety campaign called "See the Blind Spots," which will run TV, radio, print and outdoor spots with safety tips for bike riders and pedestrians. The site also features crash data and a public forum for personal stories about pedestrians or bicyclists. The address is seetheblindspots.com.
Belcher Road cubes help manage signals
The small metal cubes appearing atop poles at some intersections along Belcher Road are part of the county's Intelligent Transportation System, or ITS. The equipment measures the electromagnetic field on the road and helps manage signal cycles in response to traffic. For more information and to view a map of county corridors that use ITS or will soon, visit pinellas county.org/publicworks and click on "Intelligent Transportation."
Be prepared for work on stretch of Belcher Road
If you're returning to the area after spending some time up north, be aware of extensive work taking place along a 3-mile stretch of Belcher Road to replace a water main. The Doc's advice is to take an alternate north/south road. Here's the latest update from Pinellas County Public Works:
Expect lane closures on Belcher from Bryan Dairy Road to East Bay Drive due to pipe replacement and installation of a new signal at 124th Avenue N until mid-December.
Be prepared for closure of three southbound lanes of Belcher from just south of Bryan Dairy Road to 118th Avenue N. One southbound lane will be available using the northbound median lane through sometime in December.
Expect continued center and southbound lane closures on Belcher from Kimpton Place to East Bay Drive, and temporary lane closures on Belcher just north of World Parkway due to work on a culvert, which also is scheduled to wrap at the end of December.
Read more about the Belcher Road project at pinellascounty.org/utilities/belcher.
Please email 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. Follow the Doc on Facebook by searching for Ask Dr. Delay.