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. Yield becomes stop at north St. Petersburg intersection

    Roads

    Some drivers have not noticed that after the refurbishment of Fourth Street, at the intersection of 62nd Avenue N, traffic turning to head north or south on Fourth Street N using Washington Circle now has new stop signs to heed. But when turning off Fourth Street N to go east or west, we still have yield signs. Why the change from yield to stop? I personally noticed it, but asked myself when that changed. Is there any chance that the yield signs can be returned to like it was before?...

    Some yield signs have been replaced with stop signs at the intersection of 62nd Avenue N and Fourth Street.
  2. Pedestrian concerns at downtown St. Petersburg intersections

    Accidents

    There is a serious need for a traffic study at two locations in downtown St. Pete: Fourth Avenue at Fifth Street S, where there is only a stop sign for northbound and southbound traffic, and Third Avenue at Fifth Street S, with a flashing light — red for north and south and yellow for the eastbound and westbound traffic. We love walking in the downtown area and these two intersections are not very pedestrian-friendly. Drivers have a difficult time seeing around the construction zone of the new condos being built and when completed, traffic will only increase. Will the city consider installing traffic signals?...

    The corner of Third Avenue S at Fifth Street in downtown St. Petersburg. Construction hinders pedestrians, for now. 
  3. Closure at Harn Boulevard causing backup

    Roads

    The contractor has closed the U.S. 19 crossover at Harn Boulevard and now those who want to go north on 19 have to cross three lanes of traffic to get to the turnaround at Belleair Road. This practically brings traffic to a stop as they try to move over. Now traffic is slower than before. Sometimes in the morning it's backed up almost to Drew. Something should be done before the snowbirds get here....

  4. Work at intersection of First St. and 30th Ave. N nearly done

    Roads

    Hey Doc, work on the traffic circle/roundabout at First Street and 30th Avenue N in St. Petersburg seems to be done, but now I see there are sawhorse barricades on the four corners of the intersection. Last week it looked like workers were digging. What in the world is going on now?

    Joe Angelo

    What you're seeing is activity related to the addition of final elements to the reconfiguration of the intersection. The barricades mark the locations of pedestrian crossing signals. The digging was preparation for installation of electrical equipment to run the crossing signals, which will be pedestrian-activated by push button....

    The former roundabout at First Street and 30th Avenue N is getting flashing pedestrian crosswalk signs.
  5. New street signs on Fourth Street in St. Petersburg are wrong

    News

    Since the repaving work on Fourth Street between 38th Avenue N and Gandy Boulevard was finished, I've noticed new signs marking the cross streets and block numbers. Several of them appear to be wrong — at 83rd Avenue N and Fourth Street, in particular. The 83rd Avenue sign shows the 500 block to the west and 400 block to the east — they should be 400 west and 300 east. Same goes for the Fourth Street N sign — it shows 8300 south and 8400 north — they should be 8200 south and 8300 north. Can you check on this please? Even in the age of GPS and smart phones to lead us, some folks rely on those signs to find a destination....

  6. Stripes on Fourth Street don't match turn rules

    News

    The state recently resurfaced Fourth Street N, and when they finished repainting the traffic lanes/lines there are new lines that were not there before. Going north on Fourth Street and attempting to turn left on to 71st Avenue N, there are lines that indicate to me you cannot turn at that intersection. The design is still there to turn left so why would they paint yellow lines indicating not to pull over into that left lane? Following the straight lines is a curved line — it makes no sense. If that is the intent of the state, help me to understand why we are not supposed to turn left any longer....

    The left-turn lane at Fourth Street and 71st Avenue N is marked off with yellow stripes.
  7. Dr. Delay: More work to come on Park Boulevard project

    Roads

    Can you tell me, and probably hundreds of other drivers, what is taking so long to complete the resurfacing project on Park Boulevard? At the intersections of Park and 66th Street and Park and 49th Street when heading north or south, you practically have to come to a complete stop or you'll do damage to your vehicle due to the uneven pavement. It has been around a month and nothing is getting done. Why start a project if they are not going to finish it?...

  8. Another road project on tap in Belleair Bluffs

    Roads

    We've heard about some big road project coming up in Belleair Bluffs. It seems like we just got through the interminable Belleair Beach Causeway replacement project. What's happening now and how long will it last?

    A road reconstruction project is indeed about to get under way, which will include installing a storm water system in addition to street upgrades. Work is scheduled to start next week and should wrap up sometime in April. Though no full road closures are planned, some streets will be open to local traffic only. The affected streets are Sunset Drive, between Bluff View Drive and Cortez Avenue; Cortez, between Renatta Drive and Pinehurst Avenue; and Pinehurst, from Lentz Road to the dead end....

  9. Dr. Delay: Park Street sign designed to prevent sideswipes

    Roads

    Why was a big green sign installed on the west side of southbound Park Street in St. Petersburg just before Ninth Avenue N announcing that Country Club Road is ahead? The sign is completely unnecessary and so oversized that it's an eyesore and ruins the residential aesthetic. Who added it and why?

    The state Department of Transportation installed the sign; there is also a sign south of the intersection to alert northbound traffic. ...

    Signs, including this one on Park Street near Ninth Avenue N, will be placed at 33 signalized intersections to give drivers advance notice of intersections and reduce late lane changes.
  10. Brick street repaving depends on its history

    Roads

    I'm inquiring about the paving of Sixth Avenue S adjacent to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. I am concerned about the paving over of our historic brick roadway and want to know why it was done. Was historic preservation considered? Is it even a concern on the part of the city?

    The city established policies in 1992 regarding the maintenance of St. Petersburg streets paved with historic Augusta Block bricks....

  11. Rougher road is designed for safety

    Roads

    I regularly travel U.S. 19 from Clearwater to the Pasco County line. In recent months, most of the roadway has been resurfaced with nice new smooth asphalt. However, I've noticed that the new smooth surface is now being repaved again, but this time with a very coarse surface. What is going on?

    Joe Wink

    The smooth asphalt you refer to is what's known as the structural asphalt layer. It has been covered with a final layer, called a friction course. According to the state Department of Transportation, some areas of the U.S. 19 project require a friction course, which will be applied before the project is completed....

  12. Work at Starkey Road, Bryan Dairy Road should be complete by year's end

    Roads

    The intersection of Starkey and Bryan Dairy roads has been under construction for several years with no apparent progress or improvement. A few months ago there was a flurry of activity resulting in nothing but more dust. As of this writing there are no workers or construction equipment present. The area appears abandoned save for a miserable, delay-inducing intersection populated by angry, frustrated drivers. During what decade does the contractor estimate job completion? Is there some viable, explainable reason that this project is never-ending?...

    Rerouted traffic moves alongside the northbound lanes of Starkey Road that are under construction approaching Bryan Dairy Road earlier this week. The project is a daily challenge for commuters. Construction is set to end in December.
  13. Dr. Delay: School zones apply even in summer

    Transportation

    So, it is July and school is out for the summer. I think! Passing St. Pete High School at 7:05 this morning, the (school zone) flashers were working. All of us were going through slowly, but not the required 15 mph, figuring the flashers just weren't turned off for the summer. Apparently, we are still required to adhere, since I got a ticket for going 11 miles over the 15 mph. Is this right? What are the exact rules?...

    Pay attention to crosswalks near schools because summer school is still in session.
  14. Dr. Delay: Bayway SunPass lanes and off-duty trooper cars

    Transportation

    At the Pinellas Bayway west toll plaza, there is no dedicated SunPass lane, and cars dodge left and right as they angle for the quickest lane. Sometimes, if a vehicle is in the queue for the cash lane, after the driver sees a SunPass car go through quickly in another lane, they switch lanes, often without even looking. SunPass customers are forced to jam on their brakes, almost get sideswiped, then wait for someone to fumble for their wallet. Let's please make a dedicated SunPass lane now and make the switch before the snowbirds (and extra traffic) return....

  15. Weather delayed closure of Lois Avenue exit on I-275

    Transportation

    I commute from St. Petersburg to Tampa for work and I'm wondering if there are any updates about the northbound Lois Avenue ramp closure. It was supposed to close in mid June but then it didn't. Can you tell us what's happening?

    Ed Sager

    Weather has been a factor in the on, off, then on again planned closure of the northbound Interstate 275 exit ramp to Lois Avenue (Exit 40B), according to the state Department of Transportation. Recent rain had forced a postponement until earlier this week. The full closure is to remain in effect for approximately 12 days, weather permitting, for prep work in advance of the shift of northbound I-275 lanes, which is set for July 13....