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

    Roads

    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....

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

    Roads

    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. ...

  3. Be alert for Pinellas road work this holiday weekend

    Roads

    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....

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

    Roads

    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?...

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

    Roads

    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]
  6. Stages of Snell Isle project take time

    Roads

    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....

  7. Reader frosted by turn-lane abusers

    Roads

    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....

  8. U.S. 19 to get new pavement

    Roads

    What is happening on U.S. 19 near Park Boulevard? I see a bunch of equipment there and I'm wondering what's up and how long we can expect it to last.

    Jeff Stevenson

    This is a road milling and resurfacing project that will be ongoing for approximately four months.

    In addition to creating a smoother roadway, workers will enhance sidewalks and traffic signals, and put down fresh pavement markings. ...

  9. Largo Walmart entrance confounds this driver

    Roads

    Rosery Road and Missouri Avenue in Largo where Walmart is, is a real problem. Continue east on Rosery to the entrance/exit of Walmart, and you continue to have problems. There is just too much traffic for the entrance and exit of Walmart. People exit Walmart onto Rosery Road wanting to turn west and come out two at a time, blocking the traffic going east. They expect to break into the westbound traffic, thereby westbound traffic waits in line longer, or someone begrudgingly lets them in. And when you are sitting in the left-hand turn lane on Rosery Road waiting to go south on Missouri Avenue, it is rather unnerving to have a big semitruck delivering to Walmart make a right turn onto Rosery Road....

  10. Few rules on tires, wheel wells and mud flaps

    Roads

    Do you know if Florida has any laws regarding tires protruding out from the wheel well? I've seen this on 4-by-4 jacked-up trucks and cars that have been lowered. Nothing worse than a rock to the windshield coming off a tire that's not in a wheel well without mud flaps installed.

    Florida has a rule about the required use of splash and spray suppressant devices, but it is based on weight of the vehicle, so it pertains to large trucks that exceed 26,000 pounds, or truck tractors, trailers, or semitrailers with a net weight of 2,000 pounds or more. Florida requires that vehicles in that category be equipped with fenders, covers, or other splash and spray suppressant devices (such as mud flaps) on the rearmost wheels of the vehicle....

  11. Local and state agencies work on mystery puddle in front of Countryside High

    News

    Ever since recent water main work in front of Countryside High School was done, there has been a constant large puddle of water in the southbound lanes of McMullen-Booth Road. Clearly, water is leaking from some defect next to or under the road there. Has no one else noticed this? Is the roadway in danger of a sinkhole-like collapse that would cause a traffic nightmare? Just curious if you had any knowledge of this situation....

  12. What's the rule on emergency vehicles

    Roads

    How is one supposed to respond when an ambulance approaches from behind with its flashing lights on only and no siren nor honking?

    Robert L. Simister

    Motorists should yield to emergency vehicles that have their lights flashing (but no siren), just as they would when encountering emergency vehicles using flashing lights and sirens together. Florida's law regarding the actions of motorists and pedestrians on the approach of an authorized emergency vehicle states that either indication alone — emergency lights or siren — is sufficient (although obviously, the use of both at the same time is ideal) in terms of communicating that the vehicle is on its way to an emergency....

    If you see this in your rear view mirror, you want to pull over and get out of the way.
  13. Timing of lights at intersection causing issues for drivers

    News

    Someone thought it would be a good idea to change the timing of the light at the intersection of 102nd Avenue and Seminole Boulevard. Eastbound traffic on 102nd is now backing up to 113th Street during the busy times of day. We are having a hard time getting out of our neighborhood. This was never a problem before. Not only is the timing messed up, but the signal randomly gives left turn arrows for all sides. Sometimes at the beginning, sometimes at the end of the cycle, sometimes one side and not the other and through traffic sometimes doesn't even get to go. The whole thing is really messed up....

  14. Drainage, sidewalk work in Seminole will cause delays into early 2017

    Roads

    I am wondering about work on Oakhurst Road in Seminole. What is the nature of the project and how long will it last?

    This is a county project to improve drainage and upgrade sidewalks along Oakhurst Road from 94th Avenue N to 102nd Avenue N. The work involves both daily and nightly lane closures and some traffic delays. The suggested alternative route is 113th Street N. This is a yearlong project; work is scheduled to be completed in January 2017....

  15. Pavement markings mean drivers share with bikes

    News

    The newly resurfaced and restriped Gulfport Boulevard S now has markings with which I am unfamiliar. The icon is a double chevron pointing in the direction of traffic flow with the abstract figure of a bicyclist underneath. The icons are quite large, taking up roughly half the width of the lane. They are located in the outer (slow) lane in both directions and repeated at about 200-yard intervals. The road does not have marked bicycle lanes. I'm quite sure I'm not the only one unfamiliar with these symbols and their meaning. Please help....

    A new signage that will be showing up on the pavement and road signs. The symbol means bikes are equally entitled to the main driving lane.