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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.


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


    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?...

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


    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]
  3. Stages of Snell Isle project take time


    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....

  4. Reader frosted by turn-lane abusers


    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....

  5. U.S. 19 to get new pavement


    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. ...

  6. Largo Walmart entrance confounds this driver


    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....

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


    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....

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


    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....

  9. What's the rule on emergency vehicles


    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.
  10. Timing of lights at intersection causing issues for drivers


    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....

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


    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....

  12. Pavement markings mean drivers share with bikes


    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.
  13. Gandy Boulevard project ahead of schedule


    We are snowbirds and wondering what workers are doing on Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg between the Howard Frankland Bridge and Gandy Boulevard and when the repairs will be completed?

    This is the Gandy Boulevard Project, which runs along Gandy from Fourth Street to 16th Street. The good news is that the project is currently running ahead of schedule, according to the latest from the Pinellas Planning Council/Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization. The project is planned to be completed a year from now, which means that in the spring of 2017, drivers will pass over 16th Street, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and Fourth Street N without having to stop for a traffic signal. In addition to the new overpass for motorists, the $83.7 million state Department of Transportation project includes new sidewalks, bicycle lanes and accommodations for a future trail facility....

  14. Starkey Road work will take two years


    What in the world is going on on Starkey Road and how long will the construction last?

    Mary Stevenson

    This is a wide-ranging roadway, drainage and utility improvement project that began in December. Work along the corridor of Park Street/Starkey Road from 84th Lane N to just north of 82nd Avenue N and crossing Park Boulevard is expected to be completed in January 2018....

  15. Tweaked lights a short-term fix for Pasadena Avenue


    Is there any resolution to the absolute crazy congestion on Pasadena Avenue? I've been living in Pasadena for over 17 years and I get the fact we have full blown tourists, which we love, and snowbirds. However, the traffic light synchronization is horrific.

    Carol Tarasevich

    The Doc's mailbox has blown up in recent weeks regarding the increasing gridlock on Pasadena Avenue. We checked in with the state Department of Transportation first to determine if there was some project in the works that might be affecting traffic in the area. There isn't, so we moved on to the Pinellas County traffic management department. Technicians went out to check the area late last week and made some adjustments to the signal timing, which will hopefully provide some relief....