Intersection near northeast St. Petersburg Publix gets more signs

The city of St. Petersburg is adding extra signs to this intersection in near a Publix and Kahwa to cut down on confusion. (City of St. Petersburg photo)
The city of St. Petersburg is adding extra signs to this intersection in near a Publix and Kahwa to cut down on confusion. (City of St. Petersburg photo)
Published June 14, 2017

The intersection between Kahwa Coffee and Publix in the Northeast Park Shopping Center in St. Petersburg can be very confusing for drivers heading east on 39th Avenue N. The problem is predicting which way the traffic coming out of Publix is going. If you are traveling east on 39th, the lanes don't match up perfectly because it is an awkward intersection and there is no signage telling you which oncoming lane goes left, straight or right. I've seen several near misses when a vehicle leaving Publix went straight and the driver of the car going the opposite direction had expected it to turn. I think lines painted on the intersection or overhead signs would help.

Andrea Wilson

We asked Mike Frederick, the city's transportation manager, to respond to your inquiry. Frederick said this concern was looked into last fall, and at that time, lane directional arrows were added to the existing pavement markings, as well as skip lines to help guide traffic through the intersection.

There have been four crashes at the intersection since the addition of the pavement markings, but none were the result of north/south driver confusion, says Frederick, rather, in three cases, eastbound drivers failed to yield to westbound traffic. In the fourth accident, a westbound driver ran the red light and hit a northbound vehicle.

Frederick says that what may cause confusion is that eastbound traffic on 39th Avenue N cannot see the lane designation pavement marking arrows until it's too late, due to the curve of the road and shade from adjacent oak trees. The city will install advance lane designation signage to mitigate this.

Because either southbound lane can enter the shopping center plaza via the two lanes available and traffic exiting the plaza also has lane designation arrows, advance lane designation signage will be added in this location too. Let's hope this eases the confusion.

A cycling trail connecting to the Pinellas Trail starting at Keystone Road and East Lake Road seems nearing completion. It will go east to the county line then north to the Pasco County line. Can you tell me when it will be complete and open for traffic?

George McDermott

The anticipated completion and opening is sometime next month. The project, which began in September 2015, stretches along Keystone Road from East Lake Road to the Hillsborough County line and has involved relocation of utilities and other work. Although people have already started using the trail along Keystone, an exact official opening date in July is still pending; we will update readers once the date is finalized by Pinellas County's public works department.

Can you tell us when the work at Belcher and Belleair Roads will be done? It seems like it's taking forever.

L. Van Horn

The intersection improvement project that began a year ago at this location is on schedule to wrap up the second week of July, weather permitting. Until this Pinellas County public works project is completed, motorists should expect continued lane closures and delays.

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Email Dr. Delay at to share your traffic concerns and questions. Follow @AskDrDelay.