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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. 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. ...

  2. 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. ...

  3. 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?...

  4. 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....

  5. 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....

  6. Interstate noise barriers involve many factors


    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. ...

  7. 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....

  8. Work under way on next leg of Pinellas Trail


    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

  9. Pass-a-Grille project progressing with work behind the scenes


    I am writing to inquire about the road/sidewalk construction along Pass-a-Grille Way in St. Pete Beach. In the last four-five months, since this project began, work has been completed the length of exactly a block and a half. Can you tell me why this project is going at such a snail's pace, and if the pace is scheduled to pick up in the future?

    Gary B Betts

    Reconstruction of Pass-a-Grille Way is a multiphase project that began nearly a year ago. Planned improvements include the addition of wider traffic lanes, bike lanes, new curbing and gutters, and new sidewalks with intermittent green spaces. Special features are the use of historic brick pavers at the 21st Avenue intersection crosswalk and vintage-style street lamp fixtures....

  10. Construction of elevated lanes on Gandy Boulevard right on schedule


    In the last few weeks I've noticed that the construction on the elevated lanes on Gandy Boulevard has seemed to come to a halt. Can you please provide an update as to when things are going to be moving forward again?

    Justin Rivenburgh

    We checked in with spokeswoman Kris Carson of the state Department of Transportation on this one. Carson said that there's no stalling; work on the Gandy Boulevard project, which will be ongoing into 2017 and involves traffic delays and nightly lane closures from 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m., is right on schedule. Currently, the contractor is preparing for the next milestone, which is construction of the steel bridge that will span over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street and, Carson says, this requires a significant amount of off-site preparation, which is under way. Stay tuned. ...

  11. Be alert for Pinellas road work this holiday weekend


    Heading into the long holiday weekend, here's a barricade watch roundup of current projects around the county:

    • In St. Petersburg, intersection improvement work at 38th Avenue and 58th Street N that began this week is scheduled to last until Aug. 9, weather permitting. Motorists should expect lane closures and delays in the coming weeks.

    • Work on 38th Avenue N, from 66th Street to 58th Street and from Haines Road to the Interstate 275 ramp, is scheduled to wrap up Aug. 5, with lane closures and delays possible while workers apply thermoplastic striping and markings to the pavement....

  12. Drivers incensed over narrow lanes on 62nd Avenue N


    Recently 62nd Avenue N was resurfaced and repainted between Fourth Street and 16th Street N in St. Petersburg. The center area was enlarged considerably and the new driving lanes are so narrow you have to drive on the raised pavement warning markers in the lines. I feel sorry for truck drivers as there are only a few inches of clearance between their side mirrors. The whole situation is absurd. What harebrained reason does the city have to increase non-driving areas that inconvenience and jeopardize the safety of the taxpayers trying to drive on this street?...

  13. Dr. Delay: New configuration at Roosevelt Boulevard and Ulmerton Road is temporary


    I've been commuting through Ulmerton Road for more than 25 years (the stretch between 49th Street and the connector to Interstate 275). I take the southbound ramp from Roosevelt Boulevard onto eastbound Ulmerton road each morning. You can't imagine my shock, dismay, and disgust on June 3 when I learned that the ramp was closed. Traffic on Roosevelt Boulevard was gridlock. Traffic coming south on the Bayside Bridge onto 49th Street was parked. Eastbound Ulmerton Road was at a standstill beginning more than a mile west of the light at 49th Street. My commute Friday and today was no longer 20-25 minutes; it was nearly 90 minutes!...

    The closure of the Roosevelt Boulevard flyover, seen in background, has caused traffic delays in the area near the intersection with Ulmerton Road in Clearwater. This view is looking west on Ulmerton Road. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  14. Stages of Snell Isle project take time


    We live on Snell Isle and are active biking, running and walking on Brightwaters Boulevard. However, the route has been shut down by a project centered on the bridge between Paloma Street and Bandera Way. This appears to be a low-bid, no deadline project in which the contractor is unmotivated to get it done in a reasonable time. I feel for the property owners in the adjacent area with pumps operating 24/7, and big machines rumbling around making noise and dust, plus we see the detours morph from road to road....

  15. Reader frosted by turn-lane abusers


    When heading north on Roosevelt Boulevard to Ulmerton Road, there are two lanes, one of which is marked as a "Right Turn Only" lane. Many people use this lane to speed up and then cut off the people who are in the correct lane heading to the airport, some waiting until the last minute to rudely force their way in. I notice that people begin switching to the right lane even as the overpass/ramp goes over Ulmerton. I estimate that more than 70 percent of the vehicles using the "Right Lane ENDS Ahead" lane ride it all the way to the end, having no intention whatever of using it to make a right-hand turn before the lane ends at 38th Street N. In fact some drivers will go past the stop and drive onto 38th Street and force their way into the right lane, as there is no further roadway on right....