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. 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.
  2. 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....

  3. 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....

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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....

  7. 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....

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

    Roads

    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....

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

    News

    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 ]
  10. Park Boulevard Bridge to be repaired this summer

    Roads

    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....

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

    Roads

    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.
  12. Right turn should take precedence over U-turn

    Roads

    In a situation where a left-turn arrow authorizing a U-turn conflicts with a right-turn arrow accompanying a red light, what is the protocol and who has the right-of-way? There is at least one intersection in Pinellas County where that exists: Park Street at 54th Avenue N (just north of Tyrone Boulevard). The northbound right turn lane of Park Street going east onto 54th Avenue N versus the left turn lane from 54th Avenue N going south onto Park Street. Green arrows occur at the same time. I am a frequent driver through that intersection....

  13. Another year to go for U.S. 19 construction work

    Roads

    I commute from the southern part of St. Petersburg to north Clearwater for work five days a week. It seems like the construction nightmare that has been U.S. 19 in Clearwater north of East Bay Drive has been going on forever. When will it (if ever) end?

    Jake Taylor

    The latest on the $45 million project on U.S. 19 between Whitney Road and Gulf to Bay Boulevard is that the completion date has been moved ahead by six months. This places the end date at approximately one year from now — spring of 2015. Once all of the segments are completed, U.S. 19 will allow traffic to flow uninterrupted (no red lights) from 49th Street in Pinellas Park up to State Road 580 in Dunedin....

    While drivers have to continue to deal with construction along U.S. 19, progress is being made. At right are the recently completed S.R. 60 and Seville Boulevard bridges in Clearwater.
  14. Controversial roundabout in Old Northeast to become a thing of the past

    Roads

    The most recent newsletter of the Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association included an item mentioning that the traffic roundabout at First Street and 30th Avenue NE was to be removed "by the end of the month" (meaning March). We see that it is still in place with no apparent preparations under way to return the street surface to its prior state. Could you tell us what's going on?...

    Traffic zips along north and south on First Street at 30th Avenue N. Soon the intersection will have stop signs on 30th Avenue N.
  15. Sewer main work at 72nd St. and Ninth Ave. N is progressing

    News

    I can see that a sewer line is being replaced at 72nd Street and Ninth Avenue N, but for several days nothing seems to be done. Can you comment on this project and give us a projected date of completion?

    Vaughn Irwin

    This is a sewer main project that involves the replacement of more than 2,000 feet of pipe along 72nd Street from north of Eight Avenue N to 13th Avenue N. The northbound lane has been open, and the southbound lane of 72nd Street has been temporarily closed in the work zone from Ninth to 10th Avenue and the intersection is currently being resurfaced. The project is progressing as planned, according to a spokesman from the city's engineering department, who says it will be completed in June....