Cameras are just adding danger | letter, May 2
Pay attention to signal's timer
I have lived in downtown Clearwater for just four years. When I moved here, I was amused and appalled at the lack of respect for the traffic laws. Apparently, it is optional to stop at a stop sign or stop on a right turn on red. Why bother with turn signals? God forbid that you get stopped first in line at a red light.
The letter writer mentioned the Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard/Belcher Road intersection. I know that intersection well. I commute to Tampa every day of my working life along that road.
That intersection has a traffic camera to catch law breakers who run the red light. It also has a lighted timer for all to see in every direction as to when the green light in your direction of travel will turn to yellow and then red.
The problem with "accidents" at these intersections and the supposed gouging of money by the city could well be avoided by citizens. Prepare to stop when you see the countdown at five or less. Do not treat this as an opportunity to floor it to get through. Because, you know, the light at the next intersection will surely be red.
Steve Rock, Clearwater
Light sensors can help traffic flow
I've been here in the Clearwater area for two years now, having relocated from California, and the first thing I noticed was the traffic light timing. I've heard nothing but complaints about the traffic problems here, which tends to lead to support for the unending construction that goes on for U.S. 19.
I would suggest the traffic engineers actually get out and monitor their traffic light timing before spending more on building.
I've witnessed first-hand, sitting in the northbound U.S. 19 at Tampa Road left turn lane during rush hour and watching the light turn green for the southbound traffic, the immediate traffic clears, 15-20 seconds later the traffic from Nebraska Avenue arrives and clears, then 15-20 seconds later the traffic from Alderman Road arrives and clears. But still the eastbound and westbound traffic, as well as us left-turn hopefuls, have to wait.
Wouldn't it benefit traffic flow to activate the sensors that appear to be in the roadway? I hate to compare to California, but as soon as there is a one- to two-second delay in vehicles passing through an intersection there, the light changes for the next direction to go. This monitored traffic leads to more flowing and going and less stagnant lights.
Please, state Department of Transportation, give this a try!
Jim Green, Crystal Beach
Bad comparison for transit system
In response to the April 27 story on the proposed Pinellas tax swap to pay for mass transit, a letter writer states opposition to it based on past experience with Chicago's system (corruption and financing problems).
First: It's Chicago. What do you expect?
Second: In contrast, I've lived in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., all of which have excellent mass transit systems (trains, primarily) that work beautifully.
In addition to these large cities like Chicago, the following small metropolitan areas similar to Tampa have well-developed, well-used and well-financed mass transit systems: Phoenix, Richmond, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, St. Louis.
I urge you and all who think like you to look further into the issue before deciding to reject it outright. Whether or not we bring this area into the 21st century will depend on it.
Terri E. Benincasa, Palm Harbor
Red flags in deputy's past story, April 26
Story was just a smear campaign
Staff writer Laura Morel did a wonderful job of researching the past of Deputy Sheila Langlais. It is sad that this is the topic she chose or was assigned to research and write about. It is my opinion this article is nothing more than unnecessarily smearing someone's name in a public forum.
What purpose did this article serve? She had mistakes she made in 2000 and 2004 and the current sheriff decides, more than 10 years later, to give her a chance and hires her.
I do not know any of the parties involved, including Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. I know no one who works for the Tampa Bay Times. I am just a citizen, a resident of Pinellas County, and a reader of the Tampa Bay Times. Is this what "news" has come to? Smear campaigns? I quote, "Let those of us who have not sinned cast the first stone."
Perhaps Laura Morel and the editors of this newspaper have never made significant mistakes of which they are not proud. Perhaps some of those mistakes should be front page news in the local section of this newspaper. I wonder how this would make them feel?
If the deputy makes a horrible newsworthy mistake in 2014 forward, consider that to be the time to "smear" her name. Otherwise, leave her alone. That is, unless you walk on water.
Angela Griffith, Ozona