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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.


  1. New Sunpass lanes open on Sunshine Skyway


    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.
  2. Art project to thank for designer traffic signal boxes


    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....

  3. Complicated project in Seminole takes time


    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
  4. Work at Belcher and Belleair roads to take a few more weeks


    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....

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


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


    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....

  7. 38th Avenue N project nears end


    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....

  8. Configuration at Park and Seminole boulevards causes backup


    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. ...

  9. U-turns on Roosevelt Boulevard require caution


    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...

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


    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....

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


    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. ...

  12. Reader asks how much space to leave at stoplight


    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. ...

  13. Improvements planned for turn lane near former Seminole Mall


    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?...

  14. Pinellas Point intersection causes concern


    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....

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


    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....