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Lorrie Lykins, Times Correspondent

Lorrie Lykins writes Dr. Delay, a column about traffic and commuting in the bay area. Send her tips, story ideas and questions at the email address below.

E-mail: docdelay@gmail.com

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  1. Flower boxes on Fort Harrison in Clearwater to go, traffic pattern to stay

    Roads

    I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It seems to be an odd place to accommodate what amounts to window boxes without the windows, and it can surprise you at night. ...

  2. Answer to golf cart question not as simple as it seems

    Roads

    I've been noticing a number of golf carts roaming the streets, mingling with automobile traffic in Shore Acres and Snell Isle lately. What I have not noticed are any government-issued license tags on these vehicles. Is the use of golf carts and their like governed by any agency? Are they allowed to roam unfettered and unregulated on streets and sidewalks?

    Operating golf carts on public roads, streets, or sidewalks is prohibited in Florida, but there are exceptions: golf carts can use county or municipal roads that have been designated for cart use by the governmental entity that has authority. Factors such as the volume and speed of traffic that ordinarily uses the road are considered in making this designation. If the designation is made, the county or municipality in charge is accountable for posting signs that say that golf cart used is allowed....

    Golf carts and cars share the road in Sun City Center, where signs are posted in accordance with state law.
  3. Repaving of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard has weeks to go

    Roads

    What in the world is going on with the regrading and resurfacing of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard in Clearwater between Highland Avenue and Damascus? For weeks, the main drag has been left with sharp, deep ruts that make driving through intersections very worrisome. This is especially bad at the intersection of Keene Road and Gulf-to-Bay, where drivers have to creep through to avoid blowing out tires. We have seen zero work in weeks to finish this project. When will action take place?...

  4. St. Petersburg intersection doesn't meet standard for traffic light

    Roads

    For eight years, I have taken my coffee most mornings at Kahwa on the corner of Fifth Avenue N at Second Street (now called University Way). I have observed many near-accidents. I have spoken with Mike Frederick at City Hall on several occasions over the years, and he has implemented some improvements (there are now flashing crosswalks on the east and west sides of Second Street).

    The trouble is that there are more dwellings being built every day, more people, more events, and more traffic than ever before in the history of our fair town. Even just the normal everyday traffic of people using the University Way north corridor to turn west onto Fifth Avenue and traveling from the east heading toward Fourth Street and the interstate ramp make it nearly impossible to navigate. This is multiplied 10 times when we have an event downtown, which is nearly every weekend. If there ever was an intersection that needed a full-fledged traffic light in our county, this is it....

  5. New Sunpass lanes open on Sunshine Skyway

    Roads

    We recently traveled south over the Sunshine Skyway bridge at evening rush hour after miles of traffic getting to the bridge from the 118th Avenue entrance on I-275.

    There were two SunPass lanes open on the southbound side (the two extreme left lanes). We took the one on the right side that was perhaps newly opened as there were two toll-takers there watching things and it appeared to accept our SunPass — saying "Go Sun Pass."...

    New Sunpass lanes are open on the Sunshine Skyway.
  6. Art project to thank for designer traffic signal boxes

    Roads

    I have noticed a couple of traffic signal boxes that have been painted eclectic designs and wondered what was going on. One is at the Ruth Eckerd Hall entrance/exit onto McMullen Booth Road, and the other is just north of there at State Road 590. This may not be your area, but I didn't know who else to contact.

    Joan Bates

    The eye-catching traffic signals you refer to are among over a dozen that are receiving floral, tropical, and other themed artistic wraps. This is a project funded by Clearwater in collaboration with the Clearwater Arts Alliance. While the City Council has authorized funding for some of the locations, others have been funded through grants, says Paul Bertels, Clearwater's traffic operations manager, who is responsible for reviewing and approving the list of signals slated to be given special treatment created by local artists such as Tim Boatright, Ray Paul, Ya La'ford, Liz Smith and Don Gillespie....

  7. Complicated project in Seminole takes time

    Roads

    I'm wondering if you know when the construction for the road widening would be done at Park Street and Starkey Road in Seminole. It's a real mess and seems to be moving very slowly.

    Sal Natale

    This is a long project that requires patience on the part of the driving public because it is a combination of road, drainage, and utility improvement work. This means that some of what goes on is underground, as well as work that takes place overnight, so while you may not see activity as you drive through the area during the day, rest assured that work is indeed progressing. ...

    A new bridge is in the works for Tierra Verde. TIMES FILES
  8. Work at Belcher and Belleair roads to take a few more weeks

    Roads

    Can you please tell me what is going on with the intersection of Belcher Road and Belleair Road? Early last fall construction began to lengthen and widen turn lanes on Belleair Road but nothing has been happening for the past three months.

    Laura Center

    We checked in with Pinellas County Public Works on this project, which many Dr. Delay readers have inquired about. We heard back from Michael Williams, project supervisor with the county's construction management division, who told us that the delay has been in part due to underground utility work, specifically, the installation of power lines by Duke Energy and follow-up work afterwards....

  9. Adjustments in turn arrow timing in North Pinellas designed to move more traffic

    Roads

    In North Pinellas the traffic light patterns have changed at many major intersections. Instead of the turn arrows coming at the beginning of the light cycle, they now come at the end, or the turn signals occur at the same time the adjacent lanes have the green light. Is this an experimental change or permanent? And what is the reasoning?

    Steve Ferra

    We asked Norm Jester, Pinellas County's traffic signal systems supervisor, to respond to this question, which is asked daily by readers of this column:...

    istock photo
  10. U.S. 19 N and Alderman Road left-turn headache on DOT's radar

    News

    When traveling south on U.S. 19 N and attempting to turn left (east) on Alderman Road at night, it is very difficult to see the two lanes past an unlighted pylon to turn into. There are no guidelines on the pavement to assist. The problem is that people making this turn end up turning into the westbound lanes by mistake (there are four westbound lanes). There is a reflector pylon but you can't see it unless you are approaching the intersection from the west on Alderman Road. We need guidelines on the road and reflectors on the sides of the pylon....

  11. 38th Avenue N project nears end

    Roads

    Regarding 38th Avenue N at 58th Street: Talk about delay, how long is this going to take? It looks like they are making the intersection smaller, besides the fact that temporary markings don't exist. Very poor barrel placing, you can't find any markings when it's dark, schoolchildren have to deal with this mess on their way to Westgate Elementary. It seems to me that if the yield signs were replaced with stop signs there would be no problem. I don't understand why the light cycle was not increased for north- and southbound traffic. You have both southbound and right turn lane traffic squeezed into one lane....

  12. Configuration at Park and Seminole boulevards causes backup

    Roads

    I travel west on Park Boulevard every weekday morning and then attempt to make a left-hand turn (southbound) onto Seminole Boulevard. I am writing to you as this morning (and every morning) I, along with 30 or 40 additional drivers, was forced to sit through two-to-three red light turn cycles to make this left turn. This is a dangerous place, as often, cars are backed up in the westbound inner lane all the way back to the traffic light in front of the Home Depot. ...

  13. U-turns on Roosevelt Boulevard require caution

    Roads

    Since they fixed up the Roosevelt Boulevard and Dodge Street area to accommodate Walmart, we now have a big problem at Dodge and Roosevelt. People are coming up to the light from the west to make U-turns and putting pedestrians and right-hand turners at risk. We desperately need a "No U-turn" sign. Please see what can be done before someone gets hurt or killed there.

    Joan Bichsel...

  14. Short project near Park and Park for road and utility improvements

    News

    There are message boards on Park Street near Park Boulevard saying that Augusta Boulevard is closed until Oct. 3. Do you have any idea what the reason for this might be?

    The closure that began this week is for upgrades to the roadway as well as drainage and utility improvements. In the meantime, motorists should follow the posted message detour signs and use Burning Tree Drive as an alternate route. The work is scheduled to be completed on Monday....

  15. Druid Road work in Clearwater should wrap up next month

    News

    Can you tell me when the project on Druid Road near Morton Plant Hospital will be complete please?

    C. Mancuso

    As motorists familiar with the area are aware, Bay Avenue has been closed from Jeffords Street to Druid Road since July, but relief is forthcoming — work to improve water runoff capacity is scheduled to be completed Oct. 7. Another section of the utility work near the Morton Plant complex, which has required the closure of Lotus Path to through traffic from Druid Road S to Bay Avenue, is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30. ...