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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. New traffic lights mean a learning curve for drivers

    Roads

    I have noticed new flashing left-turn signals at some intersections in north Pinellas County that don't seem to run through the usual cycle. They light up at odd times and I'm wondering what the story is with these. Can you fill us in? I'm sure I'm not the only one who is scratching his head.

    Jim Matthews

    The intersection of Keene Road and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard in Clearwater has one of the new signals in operation now. As you note, the cycle pattern of the new traffic signals, which feature four lights, is a departure from what we are accustomed to, in particular, the green left-turn arrow may occur earlier, later, or even twice in a signal cycle, based on traffic conditions and volume....

  2. Construction and holiday events will complicate traffic in Pinellas

    Roads

    Just in time for the holidays:

    • The final phase of the Bryan Dairy Road/Starkey Road intersection improvement project is in motion — nighttime milling and resurfacing means lane closures, detours and significant delays from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Resurfacing is scheduled to be wrapped up Dec. 19 and the completion date on the project, which began in April 2013, is set for Dec. 30.

    • The scheduled resurfacing of 38th Avenue N from the southbound Interstate 275 on-ramp to Haines Road began this week and is scheduled to last until Dec. 24. Motorists should expect daytime lane closures and delays....

  3. Pinellas Trail detour vexing to reader

    Roads

    With only a few days' notice, the Pinellas Trail has been closed for repairs between Belleair Road and S Fort Harrison in Clearwater. No detour has been designated. The only real option for cyclists is via Belleair and Clearwater-Largo Road, about a 1-mile detour. Clearwater-Largo lacks a good shoulder for much of this stretch; inexperienced riders would do well to avoid this route altogether. For those of us with the need and the skills to negotiate this busy road, could the county perhaps help with temporary signage to notify both cyclists and cars that road-sharing is necessary? Additional signage on the trail itself might also warn riders of the closure before they actually get there and discover they have to choose between turning around and rerouting on busy streets....

    The Pinellas Trail from Woodlawn Street/Woodlawn Avenue south to Ponce de Leon Boulevard is closed for repairs.
  4. Intersections are a source of several questions

    Roads

    Can you tell me what kind of work is going on along 49th Street and about 30th Avenue N?

    Steven Smith

    This is a Pinellas County project — 49th Street is 30-mile County Road 611, which runs from 31st Avenue S in Gulfport all the way up to the Pasco County line. The work under way at 49th Street and 30th Avenue N is an intersection improvement project that is expected to wrap up in mid January....

  5. Dr. Delay: St. Petersburg sewer project has a month to go

    Roads

    For at least four weeks, if not more, there has been "construction" on 34th Street S in St. Petersburg (going south from about 38th Avenue S). I put the word "construction" in quotes because they don't seem to be laying pipes, although "flexible" pipes are laid for blocks on end with at least one lane on southbound 34th street cut off. So what are they doing? And when will it end?

    Barbara Taylor...

  6. St. Petersburg's signal timing getting a tweak

    Roads

    I have always been impressed and appreciative of St. Petersburg's efforts to improve traffic flow, reduce driving time and help to alleviate the negative impact on our environment through the timing of signal lights so traffic can flow at a proper speed without the need for frequent stopping. First avenues N and S, as well as Third and Fourth streets are good examples. However, periodically, it appears the signal light timing stops being properly set. Is synchronization of the lights checked periodically and if so, how often? How does the city maintain this concept of efficiently and effectively moving vehicles?...

  7. Completion of construction on U.S. 19 has been delayed

    Roads

    Hi, Doc, what's the latest on the U.S. 19 construction in Clearwater? Wasn't it supposed to be done this month?

    Work on the 2½-mile corridor of U.S. 19 from Whitney Road to State Road 60 began in late 2009 and it's been a long five years for barricade-weary motorists. Originally scheduled to wrap up in the first half of 2015, the project was fast-tracked with fanfare in January of this year, when Gov. Rick Scott announced that the state Department of Transportation had allocated additional funding and a financial incentive for the contractor to complete the improvement in October — six months ahead of schedule....

  8. 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.
  9. 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 Fourth Avenue S at Fifth Street in downtown St. Petersburg. 
  10. 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....

  11. 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.
  12. 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....

  13. 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.
  14. 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?...

  15. 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....