1. Transportation

Bike lane causing confusion on turns in downtown St. Petersburg

Published Sep. 20, 2013

I have noticed a few people overshooting the left turn from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street heading south onto First Avenue S. There is a raised concrete island separating the bike path from the wide one-way street. Drivers overshooting wind up in an awkward position entering the bike path. The sign indicating that you should stay to the left of the island faces west to alert people on First Avenue, but people coming down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street cannot see it. Could there be another sign for travelers heading south?

Frank Baptie

We passed your note along to Mike Frederick, St. Petersburg's transportation manager, who told us the transportation department staff is aware of the ongoing issue of motorists turning from a one-way street (in this case, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street) onto a one-way street and not realizing they need to keep to the left-most lane.

"Some drivers making this left turn at this intersection inadvertently attempt to keep to the right of the median separating the vehicle travel lanes from the bicycle path along the south side of First Avenue S. Given the unusual configuration at this intersection, we will consider installing appropriate signage to remind motorists to stay in the motor vehicle lanes and not the bicycle path," Frederick said. No doubt cyclists and motorists alike will be relieved.

While street work and repair is being done in Pinellas Park, why not include relining the lane markers on 49th Street both north and south from Bayside Bridge to 94th Avenue (at least)? The white paint is so faded it is impossible to see any lines after dark or when it's raining, so new yellow paint would help a lot.

John and Chris Boyd

Restriping of the lanes on this segment of 49th Street from the Bayside Bridge to about 88th Avenue is on the county's work schedule to be done by the end of the year.

After a day at International Plaza and Westshore Plaza malls, I got lost trying to find my way onto Interstate 275 west to Pinellas. The reason for my confusion: no signs/arrows at the intersection of Westshore Boulevard and Cypress Street to direct drivers on Westshore to turn west on Cypress to the interstate on-ramp. The only interstate sign is just south of the intersection on southbound Westshore. It directs all seekers of the interstate to continue south, i.e. away from the ramp on Cypress. What gives?

An employee of the State Department of Transportation took a look at the signage on Westshore Boulevard just south of I-275 and noted that while there is a sign directing traffic to southbound I-275 to continue on straight, there isn't a sign nearer Cypress directing traffic to make the turn. The DOT has asked the city to look into this.

Barricade watch

• Users of the Suncoast Parkway and Veterans Expressway have noticed that construction work is under way. The project will widen the Veterans, add express lanes from north of Memorial Highway to Dale Mabry, and convert all 57 miles of the State Road 589 corridor to all-electronic (SunPass) toll collection. Work will be done mostly at night with intermittent lane and ramp closures through next spring. Watch signs for information and read more about SunPass and all-electronic tolling at

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• Holders of the Pinellas Bayway Commuter Pass should renew their annual passes, which permit unlimited passage through all three Pinellas Bayway toll plazas for $50. The pass expires each year on Sept. 30 regardless of when it was purchased. Renew online at, by phone (toll-free 1-888-865-5352) or in person at the Pinellas Bayway SunPass Customer Service Center, 4501 54th Ave. S. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

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