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28th St. N upgrades in '08

The Doc's favorite letter of the week (written by hand and sent with a stamp, by the way) came from reader George Kauffman. He wrote: "Dear Dr. Delay: A couple of years ago there were plans to rebuild 28th Street N from 38th Avenue to Haines Road. You seem like a likely suspect to come up with a current evaluation."

If it seems like it's been a long wait for this road improvement, the only news is that the wait will continue. The project isn't scheduled to start until 2008.

Pinellas County engineers said last week that the 28th Street widening job is part of a larger Haines Road widening plan. Construction will not begin until a few more steps are completed, including an advertisement requesting bids from potential contractors slated to go out in late 2007 or early 2008, according to Ken Jacobs of county public works.

28TH STREET N

We're still waiting

Here's another inquiry about long-awaited improvements. Reader Kurt Schuller contacted the Doc back in June with a concern about the re-striping of 28th Street N.

He was worried that St. Petersburg's restriping of the street shifted the lanes in a way that created a hazard because the lane shifts were unnatural, especially at 22nd Avenue.

Back then, city traffic engineers who responded to our inquiry said that additional lane directional arrows would be installed to help guide motorists through the lane assignments on the approach to the intersection. They also said they were looking into a modification of the intersection to improve lane alignment. Also, the replacement of reflectors in the pavement which had been removed during the restriping work would happen "soon," we were told.

Last week, Schuller wrote in again to say that, six months later, the promised reflectors have not appeared.

"The bicycle path on 28th Street N and 22nd Avenue N is still a nightmare. It's no fun sitting in the left turn lane with a car coming straight at you while you pray they figure out which way to go," Schuller noted.

Mike Frederick, manager of neighborhood transportation, said that the contractor hired to do the work was scheduled to install the reflective pavement markers throughout the city this past week.

Frederick said that a plan to realign the through-traffic lanes on 28th Street and 22nd Avenue N has been approved, and the work is scheduled to begin "in the next couple of weeks."

Mind your manners

Don't forget road manners during the holidays.

It's that time of year when traffic volume increases due to the arrival of snowbirds and the holidays. This combination makes for increased tension on the road and lots of angst on the part of the motoring public, evidenced by the overflow of mail in the Doc's in-box bemoaning the antics of rogue drivers.

Red-light runners, stop-sign rollers and tailgaters top the list of offenses. One reader wrote last week to say that she counted six cars blatantly running the red light at 66th Street and 13th Avenue N. I'm sure law enforcement appreciates the reader tip.

One bit of driver nuttiness recently observed from the front seat of the Doc's Buick took place at 38th Avenue N and 66th Street.

Multitasking as a way of passing the time waiting for the red light to turn green is not uncommon, but the activity going on in the car next to the Doc's was a bit unusual. The driver had her bare foot on her steering wheel to clip her toenails. When she pulled up next to me at the next traffic light, she had a bottle of nail polish in her hand. Rolling pedicure. That's a new one.

Until next week, happy and safe motoring!

Please share your traffic concerns, comments and questions with Dr. Delay via e-mail at docdelay@yahoo.com.

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