Look out for water pipes work on Sixth Avenue S
© St. Petersburg Times
Motorists, take note. Construction crews will be installing reclaimed water pipes and may be required to close lanes and reroute traffic on Sixth Avenue S between Fourth and Sixth streets. Work is scheduled to begin Monday and continue throughout the week.
St. Petersburg is going to be a swell city if they ever get it finished.
One of the really cool things about the First Avenues in St. Petersburg is the way they allow you to zip across the waist of the city without stopping for traffic lights if you obey the speed limits.
Oops, well, you're supposed to be able to zip across without stopping for traffic lights. In reality, it doesn't always work that way.
For one thing, heavy traffic can disrupt the pattern. We all know that and accept it. But Jim Myers wrote to tell us that even in nonrush traffic, the lights on First Avenue S between 34th Street and downtown seem to be out of synch.
So Jessie and I took a ride across town on a recent afternoon and found that Jim is at least partly right. Between 34th and 16th streets, where the speed limit is posted at 35, we set the cruise control exactly there and had to stop for traffic signals twice.
East of 16th Street, when the speed limit drops to 30, the system worked better. We had to do a rolling pause to wait for the signal to change at Sixth Street, but otherwise we moved right along.
If you are going to make the system work for you west of 16th Street, you have to exceed the speed limit, not exactly what the city had in mind. We would hope the city would check this out and, if necessary, reset the lights to work at the posted limits.
And we thank you for listening.
We've got a quadruple-header in the Eyeball Jiggler of the Week segment.
-- The worst one is in the center southbound lane of Interstate 275 about a half a mile north of the 54th Avenue N exit. There is a significant chunk bitten out of the concrete exactly where a vehicle's right tires hit it. If you hang around the right lane lines, you'll be fine. If you don't, don't say we didn't warn you.
-- Then there's Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) Street southbound at 42nd Avenue N. You will encounter a strange dip in the road in the right lane, more an eyeball rocker than an eyeball jiggler. We encounter these sorts of dips all over the county, most of them funneling down to storm drains. We understand the need to channel rain off the streets, but some of these dips are extreme.
One that comes to mind is in Seminole, on southbound Seminole Boulevard between East Bay Boulevard and Ulmerton Road. It's so bad that Jessie won't let me drive in the right lane until we're past it.
But this one on Ninth Street doesn't even have the storm drain excuse. We are dumbfounded, not an unusual state of mind for us. We thank Robert Smith for pointing us toward this one.
-- On westbound 30th Avenue N at 28th Street there's a spot where the asphalt has sunk, almost as it would if there were a pothole. But the road surface is intact. Simply put, it is very much like a small sinkhole. This, too, is not a major jolt, but it's hard to see it coming.
-- A nasty surprise awaits motorcyclists on 118th Avenue N in Pinellas Park. If you are eastbound, perhaps headed for the new interstate ramp, there is a long, deep and somewhat narrow gouge in the road in the center lane as you approach the pond adjacent to the Pinellas County incinerator. Most car tires would run over it without problems, but a narrower motorcycle tire could have problems with disastrous effects.
Sigh. All these road problems make our hair hurt.
A number of you have called to our attention a serious line-of-sight problem.
When you come to a controlled intersection, the law requires you to stop behind the broad white stop bar (where they exist). But frequently, that location doesn't allow you to get a good look at oncoming traffic on the cross street.
If you're stopped at a traffic signal, we suppose you can assume that when you get a green light (and count to three before moving on to allow for the idiots around here who take pride in running reds), you're safe in continuing your trip.
But if you're at a stop sign or a yield sign, you often have to creep out into the intersection to see past obstructions, which range from overgrown brush to actual buildings. The instances where this is true around southern Pinellas County are way too numerous to list here. Suffice it to say there are dozens and dozens of intersections with this problem.
It truly would be nice if the various political jurisdictions could send out road crews to look for these situations and correct them where they are correctable. Naturally, we don't expect anyone to demolish buildings. A couple of good hedge clippers would fix a lot of these problems.
Just as with the eyeball jigglers, we have a wealth of Carbungles this week. For those just tuning in, Carbungles are things other drivers do that make your blood boil.
These two come to us from John Yurkonis of St. Petersburg.
-- You're approaching a traffic signal which turns yellow. You slow down in preparation to stop, which ticks off the driver behind you. So he or she pulls out of your lane and squirts around you, then pulls back in front of you just to be first in line when the light changes.
Is there anybody who has to be some place in that much of a hurry?
-- This is an old one. I remember hearing it back when I was learning to drive. Rule of thumb is, you leave one car length between you and the vehicle in front of you for each 10 miles of speed. But just as sure as you do that, somebody's going to pull in ahead of you and mess up the formula.
This is especially true on highways, and if you keep trying to distance yourself from the vehicle up front, you'll wind up going backwards, eventually.
-- Dr. Delay can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , by fax at (727) 893-8675 or by snail mail at 490 First Ave., S, St. Petersburg 33701.
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