Sunday, April 22, 2018
News Roundup

Who cleans up debris after traffic accident?

All too often I see broken glass and car parts on the road following accidents. Whose responsibility is it to clean up the mess on city roads, county roads, state roads and the interstate? And whom do you call when the road is reopened and the mess is still there?

Eric Jacobsen

The short answer is that it all depends on where the accident occurred. Without getting too deep into the legalese of Chapter 316.061 of the 2013 Florida Statutes, which addresses crashes that involve damage to vehicle or property, here's who may and should remove resulting debris: on state roads and the interstate system, employees of the state Department of Transportation or agents authorized by the DOT; law enforcement with proper jurisdiction; or an expressway authority created to provide management, control, and maintenance of the highway system.

Some municipalities contract with towing companies to remove debris.

Whom should you contact? It may take a little investigative work to connect with the right party. Here's why: We have more than two dozen municipalities in Pinellas County, and no two operate exactly the same. If it's within the limits of a city or town, it's best to start with the public works or transportation departments, which can be found by on the municipality's official website.

It seems like getting more people on the bus is less costly than adding so many new lanes. A bus shelter or even a bench will make it easier for people. A pull-off bay will let traffic move as the bus stops for passengers. A bike rack would help the people when the two bike racks on the bus are filled. With all of these multimillion dollar road expansion projects ongoing, do any include improved transit?

Tom Tito

We shared this note with Bob Lasher, PSTA's spokesman, who agreed that getting more people on mass transit is cheaper than building new roads. But, Lasher pointed out, the county is challenged by a combination of things, among them: we've become so built-out that here is little to no room left to add new roads. And funding is always an issue.

"We're all subsidized by taxes, and for most of us, that limits our ability to add bus stops, amenities or new service. When it comes to bus stops, many factors, aside from cost, determine what amenities we can include such as right-of-way, land ownership, permitting, city ordinances, passenger safety and surrounding land use." Lasher said.

PSTA has been working with cities and the health department to get additional funding for bike racks at stops, since record ridership has led to bike racks being full on buses.

Lasher says that bus pullouts are a debated issue because while they may get buses out of the way of traffic, they can create delays. This is because maneuvering in and out of traffic isn't easy for bus drivers.

Pinellas voters will have a chance to weigh in on funding next November via a referendum on that ballot that proposes a 1 percent sales tax increase (that would not include grocery or medicine) to fund the transit improvement plan called Greenlight Pinellas (greenlightpinellas.com).

Barricade watch

Here's an update on the closure of westbound 110th Avenue at 49th Street in Pinellas Park: The goal of the project is to relieve congestion and backups at 110th and eastbound 49th Street at the connection to U.S. 19. The work will widen the west side of 110th Avenue and add an eastbound left-turn lane to take traffic northbound onto 49th Street and should last several weeks. The current time frame is 120 days, according to Scott Pinheiro, Pinellas Park's director of engineering service, but he expects things to wrap up sooner, with the new turn lane opened in about eight weeks. In the meantime, the southbound curb lane of 49th Street will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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

Comments
District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

Class 9A-8 (higher seed hosts)Tuesday: No. 3 Alonso at No. 2 Palm Harbor University, 4; No. 4 Sarasota Riverview at No. 1 Newsome, 7Thursday: Final, 4 or 7 (depending on who hosts)Class 8A-4 at Strawberry Crest Tuesday: No. 1 Wharton vs. No. 4 Wiregr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Teen killed in crash remembered as

Teen killed in crash remembered as "always smiling and laughing"

WEEKI WACHEE — Seth Leathers was on his way to play basketball at his church when he was killed Wednesday in a car crash on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill, according to family friend Laurie Pike.Leathers, 16, was the passenger in a car driven by his friend G...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

After a two-hour weather delay Saturday evening at USF, the remote local threat of lightning finally dissipated.The postseason intensity never did.For the second consecutive night, the UCF-USF baseball series delivered, this time with the Bulls (25-1...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe a path for wildlife across Interstate 4

Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe a path for wildlife across Interstate 4

The original Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition in 2012 was inspired by the how the Florida black bear roamed — and the space it needed to do so successfully. In 2010, expedition team member Joe Guthrie conducted research through the University of ...
Published: 04/22/18
Athletics’ Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

Athletics’ Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. – Sean Manaea watched as Marcus Semien fired a ball from short to second baseman Jed Lowrie, turned around, and jumped into the arms of catcher Jonathan Lucroy. History was made at the Coliseum.Manaea no-hit the Red Sox on ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

BOSTON — Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored 1:19 apart in the second period, and then the Maple Leafs killed off a 5-on-3 and three more power plays in a row to beat the Bruins 4-3 in Game 5 on Saturday night and avoid playoff eliminatio...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

When the Rays, in the opening weekend of their 20th anniversary celebration season, brought back and honored the inaugural 1998 Devil Rays squad, it got us thinking unexpected thoughts, such as which was a better team:The first one, or the current on...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Updated: 11 hours ago