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Ramp detour is long gone; now so's sign

And another problem resolved.

Huzzah.

We took perverse delight recently in pointing out that a contractor for the state roadies had left a "Detour" sign on eastbound 22nd Avenue S which instructed drivers approaching 34th Street S to turn right onto southbound 34th Street to get to northbound Interstate 275.

The sign, apparently set out when the roadies were closing and repairing interstate ramps simply months ago, told people to go south in order to come back north. This is unnecessary now, because if you proceed east on 22nd Avenue, across 34th Street, you come very quickly to a spiffy repaved ramp that leads directly to the northbound interstate.

The detour is therefore superfluous, as they say in Boston.

The roadies, ever eager to make things easier and less confusing for motorists _ and occasionally succeeding in that endeavor _ reported to me a few days ago that the detour sign has been removed.

And they thank the two or three of you who pointed it out to me so that I could point it out to them.

Are we a great team, or what?

+ + +

Okay, Jessie and I made a mistake. I'd like to say it was mostly Jessie's fault, but all you dog lovers out there who are loath to believe that a dog can do anything wrong probably wouldn't buy it.

So I'll fess up.

I wrote that the construction on Blind Pass Road on St. Pete Beach has been going on for 30 months. The roadies tell me it has been only 17 months.

It just feels like 30 months.

Mea culpa.

+ + +

We have one additional piece of housekeeping to take care of, and then we'll be off in search of Eyeball Jigglers of the Week (EJWs).

We heard a suggestion from a reader that the ramp from northbound I-275 to Gandy Boulevard be widened to two lanes, so that traffic backing up from the light for westbound Gandy didn't stop drivers who were headed for eastbound Gandy.

The roadies took the suggestion seriously and conducted A Study.

Here is what they found:

"We conducted 24-hour machine counts, completed evening peak hour field observations, and reviewed accident history. The hose counts (those black rubber tubes that extend across traffic lanes) conducted on June 16, 2003, showed the peak hour for traffic in the left turn lanes and in the right-turn lane on the off-ramp was 5 to 6 p.m.

"Field observations were conducted on June 25, 2003, from 4 to 6 p.m. During the observation period, the right-turn lane was not blocked by left-turning traffic waiting at the signal. The right lane remained free-flowing during the peak hour. There was a high volume of traffic on the northbound off-ramp, but it cleared out consistently and no backups were observed.

". . . Therefore, we do not recommend any changes at this time."

So there you have it. The backups that some of you observed might have been due to unusual circumstances, but the roadie study suggests it is not a common occurrence.

You asked, we asked, and now we all know.

+ + +

If we can pop back down to 22nd Avenue S for a moment, we have some bad news from the city of St. Petersburg.

To wit:

For approximately three months, 22nd Avenue S will be closed between 34th and 49th streets while crews install wastewater pipes. Construction will begin Monday and last through Oct. 24. Inconvenient, but necessary.

Access will be provided to residents and businesses at all times, while through traffic will be detoured to 15th Avenue S.

And there you go.

Somebody found a use for that old detour sign.

+ + +

The Eyeball Jiggler of the Week has to be seen to believe it.

The stretch of 58th Street between Roosevelt Boulevard and Ulmerton Road has never been our favorite road. I don't think it was in good condition the day it was created.

But now, after a month of torrential rain, the local roadies might as well bulldoze it up and start all over again.

There are potholes everywhere.

One, at the outside edge of the southbound lane, is big enough to swallow a sport utility vehicle, impossibly wide and deep.

You can't go 2 feet in either direction without encountering problems.

So stay away if you possibly can.

The axle you save could be your own.

+ + +

If you are one of those people who doesn't like the way 34th Street looks, this is for you.

The city of St. Petersburg would be pleased if you would attend a meeting on July 14, when city officials will tell you about plans to improve the median of 34th Street between Fifth and 54th avenues S.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be held at Wildwood Recreation Center, 1000 28th St. S.

Once again, we are pleased to bring you news you can use.

+ + +

We got a note from Bob Cooper of Seminole, who seems to have a pretty good idea, and we thought we would pass it along. Perhaps someone in county government could take up the cause.

It was a simply splendid idea to put addresses along 34th Street/U.S. 19 to make it easier for drivers to locate themselves. How about signs on the Pinellas Trail south of Central Avenue to help Trail devotees know where they are?

Bob tells us he has a heart problem, and if he had to call for help, he wouldn't be able to tell EMTs where he was on this section of trail.

It sounds like a fairly simple matter to resolve. Not even very expensive.

How about it?

_ Dr. Delay can be reached by e-mail at docdelaysptimes.com, by fax at (727) 893-8675 or by snail mail at 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

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