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New software causing headaches at key Seminole intersection

Published Jul. 30, 2015

I would like to ask if you can find out who changed the traffic light pattern at Park and Seminole Boulevards. During rush hour, Park Boulevard backs up westbound through the light at Home Depot, causing major issues. Cars are running the red light to enter and leave Home Depot due to the backups. It now takes an additional 10 to 12 minutes to clear this intersection and anyone who lives in Seminole usually has to travel this area on a daily basis.

Dianne Nangle

Many readers have contacted the Doc about the increased delays on both Park and Seminole Boulevards in the past several weeks.

We asked Ken Jacobs, Pinellas County's manager of traffic engineering, to weigh in on what's happening.

Jacobs said that new adaptive control software was installed in June on Seminole Boulevard from Lark Lane in Largo to Tyrone Boulevard in St. Petersburg. This software is being installed on major arterial roadways countywide.

"It takes some time to modify all the settings for each signal to operate the signals efficiently. We commonly refer to this as 'fine-tuning,'" Jacobs said.

Traffic engineers have been making ongoing modifications to signal operation at the intersection of Park and Seminole Boulevards to address the traffic delays and will continue to do so over the course of the next couple of weeks.

Jacobs said the new software, which he describes as more flexible than the technology it replaces, is now in operation on State Road 580 in Dunedin and Oldsmar, Belcher Road north of State Road 60, and State Road 60 west of Belcher Road.

Parking lot status

At the southern end of Clearwater Beach, a public parking lot was closed for the construction of the hotel being built where the Adams Mark once stood. Originally, the signs said the lot would reopen April 15, but it has not. No sign has replaced the one taken down to give us an idea of the new timetable. Has the city sold the lot or will we get it back?

The city has leased the parking lot to a company called Salt Block 57 LLC. The lease, according to Eric Wilson, Clearwater's parking systems manager, has been extended to Jan. 15, 2016, and provides for an available 60-day extension for the restoration of the parking lot. Wilson said a corrected sign will be posted.

Barricade watch

Tarpon Springs is in the midst of a major improvement project in the Sponge Docks district. Roadway and pavement marking work is scheduled to take place in the area of the Sponge Docks project, affecting Dodecanese Boulevard, during the next two weeks. Work will be performed at night to minimize disruption to businesses. Be prepared to follow local detours. Work on imprinted crosswalks is scheduled to be done at the end of August.

In Palm Harbor, expect temporary lane closures and detours on 17th Street N from Florida Avenue to Nebraska Avenue for the installation of a drainage system and road paving. The work is scheduled to begin Monday and continue through Sept. 30.

Email Dr. Delay at docdelay@gmail.com or snail mail to P.O. Box 4954, Seminole FL 33775, to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Follow @AskDrDelay.