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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. Flashing arrow judged too dangerous at McMullen-Booth intersection

    Roads

    At the intersections of McMullen-Booth Road at Enterprise Boulevard and McMullen-Booth Road at Eastland Road E, the left turn signals are in the red a very long time with no oncoming traffic. Why no flashing arrows?

    Bill Shelhart

    We asked Pinellas County's traffic engineering department to look into this one because other readers have made similar inquiries. Changing the traffic signal phasing at any intersection isn't as easy as sending someone out to install new equipment; an engineering study of the intersections that includes a review of crash data must first be conducted. In this case, the idea of changing the current signal phasing for left-turning traffic from a restricted signal to what's known as a protected-permissive turn signal (flashing yellow arrow) was considered. But based on the information gathered during the review, traffic engineers recommended against changing the phasing at these intersections, says Debra Jaramillo, who manages the county's traffic studies and investigations. This conclusion was based on the following elements: ...

  2. Slideshow: Women in pantsuits turn out for Hillary Clinton in New York

    Blog

    Editor's note: Lorrie Lykins is a Tampa Bay Times correspondent who splits her time between Florida and New York. Last night, she attended Hillary Clinton's election night watch party at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, where supporters donned pantsuits in support of Clinton, an avid suit wearer. Pantsuits have become an emblematic fashion choice for the election, seen on everyone from average women heading to the polls to Beyonce playing a Clinton rally. Here's a sampling of who she met at Tuesday's event....

    “I came of age when Hillary was the First Lady. As a 13-year-old girl who felt awkward and dorky and only wanted to wear blue jeans, she meant so much to me because she was such an individual. Today, being able to cast a vote for her for as president is everything to me.” - Elizabeth Lieb, 37
  3. 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....

  4. 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....

  5. 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. ...

  6. 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...

  7. 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....

  8. 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. ...

  9. Reader asks how much space to leave at stoplight

    Roads

    After reading your recent article regarding plans to extend the left turn lane at the intersection of Park Boulevard and 113th Street, I was motivated to ask you a question: Why do people leave so much distance between the vehicle ahead of them when stopped in traffic at a red signal or stop sign? Many people leave up to a vehicle and a half to two vehicle lengths in between each stopped vehicle. Because of so much space being unused, many vehicles behind the stopped traffic cannot get into right- or left-turn lanes. This causes much more congestion. When I stop very close to the vehicle ahead of me, I have had some people lean out their car window and scream at me to get back. ...

  10. Improvements planned for turn lane near former Seminole Mall

    Roads

    When traveling east on Park Boulevard approaching the intersection of Park and 113th Street and wanting to make a left turn, one could easily have time to make the turn, but because there is a long line of traffic going straight, you can't get into that left-turn lane. With the new shopping center going up this will be even more of a problem. Do they have plans to correct this so that drivers can get in the left-turn lane from farther back?...

  11. Pinellas Point intersection causes concern

    Roads

    On Pinellas Point Drive at Sunshine Skyway Lane, there is an on-ramp to the interstate. There is a stop sign at Skyway Lane. In order for drivers from Skyway Lane (heading north) to cross to the interstate, they have to go across three lanes of traffic going west and two going east. Looking east, it is extremely difficult to determine which cars are in the on-ramp lane and which cars are going straight. In addition to dodging the westbound cars, there is an off-ramp from the interstate to the left for cars exiting to go east on Pinellas Point Drive, so it is a constant look left, right, left, and right, to try to determine if it is safe to pull across the intersection. And now there is a bait shop on the corner where cars pull out and make almost a U-turn to go east to add to the fun. There should be some sort of signal at that intersection....

  12. Drivers still waiting for wider lanes on 62nd Avenue N

    Roads

    Quite a few weeks ago you did an article on the repaved 62nd Avenue N from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street to 28th Street and the complaints that striping of the inside lanes and reflectors made the lanes very narrow. When driving in that lane, your car constantly goes over the "bumps" of the reflector lights. This was caused by making the center turn lanes a bit larger. The article said the county/city was looking into the problem. Can you give us an update, as nothing has been done to correct the issue? Makes me wonder if the county/city just gave you that answer and hoped it would all be forgotten. Please be aware, the people who travel the road daily are still annoyed....

  13. Interstate noise barriers involve many factors

    Roads

    As I travel through major cities, I notice walls erected along the interstate. I assume they are to reduce noise. Why doesn't I-275 have walls in St. Petersburg? I live near 14th Street and 22nd Avenue N and can hear the interstate from my house.

    Robert Powers

    We asked Kris Carson of the state Department of Transportation to fill us in on the subject of barrier walls, specifically, what goes into the decision process of building them, and why barriers are erected in some places and not others. ...

  14. New turn lanes not helping much at Starkey Road intersections

    Starkey Road now has two left-turn-on-green-arrow lanes and three through east/west lanes at both East Bay Drive and Ulmerton Road. And yet, the same problem arises when making left turns at both these intersections that existed before the lane additions. The timing is so short, especially on Ulmerton, that the last two times I've been on Ulmerton to turn left northbound onto Starkey, the light changed to yellow/red before I could make my turn. This, even though I was only the sixth or seventh car in one of those turn lanes. Less than half the length of the turn lane, the light changed to yellow then red before I could make my turn, and so we have to wait another three minutes for a second time through all the changes before being able to proceed....

  15. Work under way on next leg of Pinellas Trail

    News

    I have heard that at long last, construction on the Duke Energy trail has finally started up. What is the expected completion date for this project?

    Bob Miller

    Work on the 1.2 mile Duke Energy Trail segment, which is a power line corridor that stretches from Sunset Point Road to Enterprise Road in Pinellas County, began last month and is scheduled to last about a year. The completion date for the pedestrian and bicycle trail is July 5, 2017. When complete, it will connect to the pedestrian overpass at U.S. 19 near Enterprise Road in Clearwater. For information on the countywide Pinellas Trails, visit the county's website at www.pinellastrails.org....