Is there any way to find out when the Belcher Road resurfacing will be completed? They have not been working for the past few days and the side streets and a few of the center turn lanes are not paved, although they have been milled down.
Just in time for the holidays, the paving of Belcher Road has been completed. Project supervisor Richard Gildea says the work crew is operating at night right now, which explains why there hasn't been visible activity during the day. County workers are addressing some final items on the project wrapup list, including some cleaning up, but things should be smooth sailing from here on out....
It's time for the Doc's ninth annual roundup of holiday gift suggestions for the road-trippers in your life. Most of this year's items can be purchased online, making it even easier and faster to cross names off your shopping list.
Swift Hitch: Just because you drive an older or nonfancy model doesn't mean you can't have anything nice. Or cool, like a backup camera that allows one person to hitch a trailer solo. The Swift Hitch is a portable, wireless backup camera that attaches to a truck tailgate and is touted to make hitching a trailer a painless three-step operation. The units run on lithium batteries, use infrared technology, and provide night vision and visibility of up to 300 feet. These babies aren't cheap — models run from about $200 to $300. swifthitch.com....
I traveled west on Ulmerton about 4:40 p.m. on two occasions this past week. The light at Starkey Road was green, but traffic couldn't proceed because traffic was so backed up. I understand that construction on Ulmerton Road will last another year, but why can't traffic lights between Belcher and Ridge roads be synched to help traffic move along? It seems side streets control the flow of traffic too much....
Now that seasonal residents are returning to the area, we've received many inquiries about the status of major road projects around the county. Here are updates on some of the most frequently asked about sites:
• Pinellas Bayway bridge replacement: The project, which began in February 2012, is on track to be completed in October 2014. Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday each week and flagging personnel in the roadway during construction....
A left-turn lane has been created to serve the new shopping plaza on the left side of northbound Starkey Road approaching Ulmerton Road. But the lane is easily mistaken for the beginning of the left-turn lane onto westbound Ulmerton. The curbing at the end of the turnout is unlighted, unmarked, unpainted, and unexpectedly dangerous.
The Doc took a ride on northbound Starkey Road and observed the lane after dark, which indeed misleadingly looks like a turn lane for northbound traffic traveling on Starkey and intending to turn left onto Ulmerton Road....
Recently, a large number of palm trees were planted on both sides of Interstate 275 just south of the Howard Frankland Bridge. I'm told that they cost from $5,000 to $8,000 per tree. I'd like to know who paid for them.
Here's what was planted: 58 Washington palm trees, seven Sylvester date palm trees, and 8,650 square feet of perennial peanut ground cover. The plantings were a city of St. Petersburg project in partnership with the state Department of Transportation. The plants were paid for by the DOT's highway landscape budget (per Florida statute, the agency is required to spend this amount on landscaping), according to Kris Carson of the DOT. The cost of the landscape project at the Howard Frankland Bridge site, including the palms, was $269,995.62....
More than 3,000 residents live adjacent to the street crossings of busy 54th Avenue N between 75th and 81st Lane, almost all of them seniors. Many people cross 54th Avenue N in certain places and have been doing so for years to get to their banks, shopping, bus stops, church, etc. Outdated dull signs and speeding cars have led to some pedestrians being killed along this stretch of road.
Recently, some roadway engineers decided to modernize this area with new signs and flashing lights that will stop traffic so people can cross safely. They also decided to relocate both crosswalks. The crosswalk on the west was moved far enough away that it causes issues for those who use wheelchairs and walkers. The old crossing gave direct access to a bank driveway. I'm sure much time and money went into creating all this, yet they never consulted those of us who use these crossings. Don't you think it may have been smart to hold some meetings to inform us residents not to cross the street in our traditional, convenient places?...
My complaint is vehicles blocking sidewalks. I know that this must happen all over St. Petersburg but my concern is 26th Avenue N on the north side of the street from 58th to 66th streets. I walk this on a regular basis and it is very annoying. Cars, RVs and boats are forever blocking the sidewalk, causing pedestrians and people using wheelchairs to exit the sidewalk and maneuver up the street....
I write because of my concern that accidents are bound to happen at the intersection of Second Street and Fifth Avenue N. Drivers attempting to exit Second Street onto Fifth Avenue N have obstructed vision of the cars heading west on the way to Fifth because cars are parked along Fifth. At times, it is so difficult to get onto Fifth Avenue N that I go east on Second Street, down a block and circle around to Third, then turn left on Fifth. That is a difficult intersection, but there is a traffic light there. Is there any way to have the city put a traffic light at that intersection?...
The entrance ramp on westbound Gandy Boulevard to Interstate 275 south has two signs as you enter the ramp with the icon of a bicycle and an arrow pointing to the ground. Could you explain this please? I thought bicycles were prohibited from the interstate.
The signs you've noticed are bicycle crossing warning signs intended to alert motorists of westbound bicycle traffic. Cyclists heading westbound use the shoulder of the road to travel across the on-ramp....
I have noticed a few people overshooting the left turn from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street heading south onto First Avenue S. There is a raised concrete island separating the bike path from the wide one-way street. Drivers overshooting wind up in an awkward position entering the bike path. The sign indicating that you should stay to the left of the island faces west to alert people on First Avenue, but people coming down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street cannot see it. Could there be another sign for travelers heading south?...
Thankfully, after three long years, the Keystone/Tarpon Road expansion project is finally behind us. But since I work in the Carillon area, I get to trade that three-year mess with the recently started three-year project to "improve" the Roosevelt/Ulmerton Road area. And of course, everyone in North Pinellas gets to deal with the never-ending construction on U.S. 19. Why don't we hire a small army for these projects and conduct the work 24/7? Not only would this ease the pain for everyone involved, but it would put more people to work on the "shovel ready" projects....
Recently, while proceeding north at the intersection of Seminole Boulevard and East Bay Drive, we noticed three cars turning right while the "No Right Turn" sign was lit. There is also another one of these signs at East Bay Drive and Missouri Avenue. These are fairly new and are causing some confusion. I believe road signs at intersections where these signals are would help eliminate the confusion....
I notice many intersections that have multiple cameras on them but don't have the cameras that take the pictures of motorists who run red lights. Are they taking pictures of cars at these intersections? If so, what agency is taking these pictures?
Intersections that have white domed cameras mounted on poles are part of the countywide traffic management system, known as the Intelligent Transportation System. Elements of the traffic management system include closed-circuit cameras for monitoring traffic in real time. That provides technicians with information they share with drivers via overhead message signs. It also allows for traffic signal adjustment during times of congestion or in response to accidents, as well as manipulating traffic lights to help emergency vehicles....