I travel 58th Street to and from Gulfport several times a week. I once almost hit a biking youngster who zipped across the Pinellas Trail without using the alert lights or even looking. The trail is only a block north of Boca Ciega High School and is a "school zone" twice a day.
From the north, vision is blocked by a homeowner's 6-foot wood fence on the west and a tarp fence around the cemetery to the east. From the south, vision is blocked by foliage to the east and a residence to the west. Drivers can't see trail users and trail users can't see drivers until they're right at the junction.
Also, when traveling south on 64th Street where the Pinellas Trail crosses Fifth Avenue S, vision is blocked by a fence on the west. The blockages that can be removed or adjusted should be. At the very least, warnings should be put up for people on the trail.
This Pinellas Trail crossing features STOP signs posted in both directions for users of the trail. As we noted last week, and as Mike Frederick, St. Petersburg's manager of neighborhood transportation reiterated when we shared your note with him, regardless of the presence of rapid flashing beacons, all users of the trail, both pedestrian and cyclists, must stop to make sure approaching traffic has come to a complete stop before crossing 58th Street. But getting kids to comply with this is easier said than done, so motorists need to be vigilant when encountering crossings of the Pinellas Trail.
Regarding the visual obstructions, city code compliance staff visited the site to inspect and determine if all fences on private property near the crossings are of legal height and not in the visibility triangle. They found no visibility issue at these locations, and that all fences are legal height and in their proper location with no code violations.
• The milling and repaving work on Central Avenue just west of Park Street to Pasadena Avenue that began last week is scheduled to be completed on Monday. Motorists should be prepared for lane closures and delays in the interim.
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