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

  1. New street signs on Fourth Street in St. Petersburg are wrong


    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....

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


    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.
  3. Dr. Delay: More work to come on Park Boulevard project


    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?...

  4. Another road project on tap in Belleair Bluffs


    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....

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


    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.
  6. Brick street repaving depends on its history


    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....

  7. Rougher road is designed for safety


    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....

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


    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.
  9. Dr. Delay: School zones apply even in summer


    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.
  10. Dr. Delay: Bayway SunPass lanes and off-duty trooper cars


    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....

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


    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....

  12. I-75 widening to go from Hillsborough to Sumter


    I have had the opportunity to drive Interstate 75 from Gainesville to Fort Myers recently and was wondering about all the land clearing along the side of the interstate. Mulch piles from ground up 20 feet high in some places. What's going on? Is this the beginning of some sort of widening project or something other? I have tried looking on the DOT website but was unsuccessful figuring anything out. Friends have noticed the same and no one seems to know why....

  13. Dr. Delay: Yield signs coming for Roosevelt-Ulmerton work zone


    The I-275 exit from northbound Roosevelt Boulevard onto eastbound Ulmerton Road has no yield signs where the lanes come together. In addition, the lanes twist and turn with very limited viewing ability. Raymond James, Bright House Networks, and Aegon are just a few of the companies with many employees needing to be in the right turn lane leading into the Carillon Center. As vehicles are coming onto Ulmerton, a serious accident is only bound to occur. My reason for emailing you is in hopes that you are able to confirm that this is only a short-term problem and that the exit ramp vehicles will soon have a yield to oncoming traffic sign....

    bay area in the ability for people to walk between home, work, school, parks, stores and other everyday destinations, determined research by the George Washington University School of Business and the nonprofit group Smart Growth America.  [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times ]
  14. Park Boulevard Bridge to be repaired this summer


    Is it true that the Park Boulevard Bridge is going to be replaced?

    No, but it will undergo significant upgrade work later this summer. The 34-year-old bridge, which connects the mainland to Indian Shores and Redington Shores, has been having mechanical problems. Some repairs were done last year, but more extensive work needs to be done. The work will take about 30 days to complete and require that the bridge stay in the open position through the duration of the project....

  15. Work on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street to improve drainage


    You may have already written about this, but I didn't see it. Can you tell me about the construction going on at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street and 83rd Avenue N?

    Tom Banks

    The work at this intersection is part of a substantial utility project that began last summer to replace the outdated and undersized stormwater drainage infrastructure in the area. The improvement is designed to address street flooding, which has been an ongoing problem for years along the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street corridor and connecting side streets. The current phase of work will connect the drainage system just south of 83rd Avenue N to the 77th Avenue Canal. Resurfacing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street from 94th Avenue N to 62nd Avenue N will follow the completion of the project, which should happen later this year or early in 2015...

    Traffic works its way around a construction site Tuesday at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street and 83rd Avenue N.