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Best bet is to circumvent Gulf-to-Bay gridlock

This is a tad beyond the Doc's usual reach, but since he got caught in it the other day, we'll indulge.

"I'm wondering if they are going to be doing anything about the horrible tie-ups in the afternoon at Belcher and Gulf-to-Bay (in Clearwater)," phones Michele Maro. "From Hercules to Belcher, it's a least a 20-minute wait to get through that light at rush hour."

Gulf-to-Bay's a bear, no doubt about it. It's been that way for years and simply doesn't seem to ease off. This time of high season, what with winter visitors and gorgeous days luring the Tampa crowd to the beach, it's shoulder-to-bumper as far as you can see. Even computer-linked traffic signals aren't making a dent during peak hours.

The solution seems to be alternate routes, and our caller has taken to using Druid Road to By-Pass Road at Builders Square. Might consider Drew Street if you're coming from north Clearwater.

She adds: "And second of all, and I'm just honking my horn, nobody will go for this, but they ought to make it a law that between 7 and 9 and 4 and 6 there should be no tourists or senior citizens on the road unless they have a life or death emergency or they are going to work."

How right you are; it won't fly.

But it sends me to chuckling over a song on the just-released first CD by a local group known as the Fallopian Tubes. The Tubes have been around since 1980, but are just getting to putting their eclectic brand of music on disc.

Here's a touch from the song When the Yankees All Go Home.

"The main arteries are completely clogged

with sunburned Yankee demagogues

I mean, Michigan and Ohio, New Jersey and Ontario

I don't mean to be cruel or too unkind

but it's March 15th and I think it's time to


Go home, Go home, Go home, Go home _ We're gonna drive real fast down Gulf Boulevard _ When the Yankees all go home"

You can listen to the entire When the Yankees All Go Home on TimesLine. Call 898-0019; punch in category code 7215.

It's all in fun.

Let's take a spin around the neighborhoods.

A reminder to Crescent Lake residents. You can vote Thursday night on speed limit changes on Fifth Street and Crescent Lake Drive (Seventh Street). If approved by residents (you need not be a neighborhood association member to vote), speed on either side of the lake would be dropped from 30 to 25 mph.

The association's traffic committee recommended the changes after meeting with Angelo Rao, city traffic engineer. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at the Huggins-Stengel Conference Room.

On the other side of Dr. M. L. King (Ninth) Street N, Rao met with the new Euclid-St.Paul Neighborhood Association to come up with that area's first "traffic calming."

Patty Pettijohn, association traffic committee chairman, says the plan is to reduce the speed limit on 12th and 14th streets between Ninth and 22nd avenues N. "We agreed to 20 mph on both streets, with 15 mph in front of St. Paul's School during school hours." There had been a call for stop signs.

Rao says while stop signs are "very good devices, the key use of stop signs is to assign right of way. They are not sustainable speed control devices.

"The issue of stop signs did come up that evening and we discussed that at length," Roa says. "My point was to build a sustainable solution because motorists are often not in total compliance with stop signs. There is some possibility that people make up time between stop signs."

The Doc had thought that for some time, now here's someone who has studied the habits of motorists saying it.

"Before they repaired this (Tierra Verde) bridge last year, the speed limits on both sides of the bridge were 45 mph and then they changed it to 35 mph because of the repairs," says Ron McKeska. "Do you know if they are going to turn around and repost that on the south and north side?"

Most assuredly, says the state Department of Transportation's Marian Scorza, as soon as the project is completed. Completed? Wasn't that to have been some weeks back? "Looks like sometime next week," she says.

We end on a good note.

Write me at Ask Dr. Delay, Neighborhood Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-1121. Or call. Using a Touch-Tone phone, phone TimesLine at 898-0019; punch in category code 8900. Or e-mail me at