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Grand Prix prep under way

Dr. Delay Navigating South Pinellas

By LORRIE LYKINS
Published March 4, 2007


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Signs of the 2007 Honda Grand Prix will begin to show up downtown today when workers start to put up barriers along Bayshore Drive south of Demen's Landing. Barriers on Albert Whitted airport property will go up beginning Tuesday, and barriers on First Street S south of Fourth Avenue will be installed beginning Thursday. The race runs from March 30 through April 1 along a 1.8-mile-long street circuit that will include 14 turns on downtown streets circling Pioneer Park, the Bayfront Center and extending onto runways at Albert Whitted airport. For more, visit http://www.gpstpete.com/.

TRAFFIC SAFETY CLASSES

AARP program helps seniors sharpen skills

AARP traffic safety classes are a great way for drivers age 50 and beyond to hone their driving skills. The AARP Driver Safety Program is an eight-hour classroom refresher course that can help drivers learn the effects of aging on driving and how to make adjustments. Most classes are taught in two four-hour sessions over two days. The course fee is $10.

To find a senior driving course near you, call 1-888-AARP-NOW 1-888-227-7669 or go online to: http://www.aarp.org/families/driver_safety/wrapper_driver.py and enter your ZIP code.

FIRST AVENUE SOUTH

Drivers find lane transitions confusing

Even though it has been awhile since the eastbound lanes of First Avenue South at Pasadena Avenue have been repaved and striped, motorists are still unhappy with the lane transitions, finding them abrupt and unclear because of the odd striping when First Avenue intersects with Pasadena Avenue.

One reader wrote: "What markings are there are very confusing to many, apparently. It looks as if it was marked at one time and then recent roadwork paved over the crosswalk and lane marks. Maybe they could paint them with brighter paint or something."

Other motorists lament the loss of space on First avenues North and South, invoking the old adage, "if it ain't broke don't fix it."

"These used to be great roads to travel east-west, but now with unnecessary parking on both sides of the street, the driving lanes are narrow and drivers must dodge improperly parked cars all the time. It is unsafe for all. Bike lanes were a great addition, but there is only a need for parking on one side. I'm sure many residents miss the days of driving along a well-thought-out road. It used to make getting to the all-important downtown that much easier," another reader commented.

TYRONE TRIANGLE

Work may soon be under way in mall area

The Tyrone Triangle is a source of angst for many drivers. Reader Wes Calhoun wrote:

"I've lived in the Tyrone area since 1976, but in the past couple of years the traffic has become intolerable and dangerous. Traffic turning west on 22nd Avenue at the mall stacks up northward into the intersection of Tyrone Boulevard and 66th Street. The crown of the intersection prevents drivers from seeing the stack-up until it's too late. Eastbound drivers on Tyrone blare their horns until the blockage clears. The dangerous part is when impatient drivers in the right lane of 66th Street pull in front of fast-moving traffic in the center lane."

Because both 66th Street and Tyrone Boulevard are state road, the Department of Transportation maintains those roads as well as the signal timing.

I passed reader comments along to Kris Carson of the state Department of Transportation. Carson said last week that their timing consultant has been working on getting traffic counts in preparation for working on the area. As for the volume in the Tyrone area, it brings to mind data from the Census Bureau that suggest that 1,000 people move into Florida every day. Sure seems like they all must be moving to Pinellas County.

Please share your traffic concerns, comments and questions with Dr. Delay via e-mail at docdelay@yahoo.com.

[Last modified March 4, 2007, 08:23:01]


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