Hey Doc, work on the traffic circle/roundabout at First Street and 30th Avenue N in St. Petersburg seems to be done, but now I see there are sawhorse barricades on the four corners of the intersection. Last week it looked like workers were digging. What in the world is going on now?
What you're seeing is activity related to the addition of final elements to the reconfiguration of the intersection. The barricades mark the locations of pedestrian crossing signals. The digging was preparation for installation of electrical equipment to run the crossing signals, which will be pedestrian-activated by push button.
We caught up last week with Mike Frederick, the city's transportation manager, and asked for an update on the transition of the old traffic circle pattern to the new design, which includes stop signs for east-west traffic on 30th Avenue.
Frederick said that First Street is narrower now at the intersection and it has been determined that a side-street stop is the safest pattern — 30th Avenue being designated as the side street. The installation of the flashing crosswalk beacons will help pedestrians, many of whom are drawn by Coffee Pot Park and the city trail, to safely cross First Street. It's important to note that although only traffic on 30th Avenue has stop signs, all traffic on First Street — bicycles and motor vehicles alike — will be required to stop for pedestrians.
In addition to pedestrian signals, landscaping will be added to the new medians on First Street to include ground cover and crape myrtle trees. The intersection is being monitored for traffic volume and speed and city staff will continue to do so in order to identify anything that needs to be tweaked. The cost of the redesign, which is covered by Penny for Pinellas funds, is $115,000.
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