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Little green riding hood

Dr. Delay Navigating South Pinellas

By LORRIE LYKINS, Times Correspondent
Published November 4, 2007


Call me crazy, but the Doc has recently encountered a new variety of hitchhiker in the form of a small reptile. While stopped at a traffic signal last week, I noticed a lizard staring at me through the windshield. Its front feet were plastered on the windshield, and it gazed at me through the glass.

Since we were having eye contact, I presumed the creature was silently imploring me to help it escape the hood of the Buick.

But I was wrong. I pulled into a parking lot and tried to capture the lizard in hopes of releasing it into a grassy area. It ran away each time I tried to grab it, hiding under the lip of the hood. After three rounds of mad dashing back and forth around the front of the car and lunging at the hood, I gave up, much to the disappointment, I'm sure, of a nearby crew of tree-trimmers who surely went home that night and told their families about the pitiful woman they had seen, who was obviously experiencing some sort of hallucination. I briefly considered explaining to them what I was trying to do but thought better of it.

But here's the thing: Once the car was in drive and moving down the road again, the lizard reappeared and positioned itself on the center of the hood just behind the hood ornament. Yes, it was hood-surfing. Every time I stopped, the lizard ran up the length of the hood and stared at me again through the windshield, then scurried back down and hood-surfed when the car was in motion. My family listened intently when I later described the incident, but I'm sorry to tell you that I saw them exchanging skeptical glances.

And my husband suggested I try to get more sleep on a regular basis. That's fine. But this morning while driving to an appointment, guess who crept out from under the lip of the hood? It's back. And I'm pretty sure it's the same one.

Pothole watch

Holes open up on roads around town

Some chasms we've noticed opening up on roads around town include eastbound 38th Avenue N just west of 58th Street. It may be related to utility work because it looks like a perfect square. Watch for cars swerving to avoid it.

Another one that's growing is on 84th Lane in Pinellas Park, right where the street feeds onto Park Boulevard. Dunkin' Donuts devotees and employees of the Scarritt dealership might have felt their tires thunk down into that one, which is at least 11/2 feet wide.

Duhme Road, which becomes 113th Street in Seminole, is awash with asphalt patches. A few new potholes are opening up there between 51st and 54th avenues.

Sunshine Skyway

Weather delays effort to clean, paint bridge

Weather has delayed the ongoing cleaning and painting of the Sunshine Skyway bridge. We can expect lane closures through the holidays, according to Kris Carson of the Florida Department of Transportation.

"Because of the weather issues, we're looking at a completion date of early 2008," Carson said.

The DOT's contractor is cleaning and painting the stay cable system, cleaning and coating barrier walls, and rehabilitating the cable lighting system. The work necessitates daily lane closures on northbound and southbound Interstate 275 from 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Traffic has been shifted to the right on the main span in both directions. The $4-million project on the main span, which is 1,200 feet long, began in January and had initially been expected to be completed this month.

60th Street

Road closings set as sewer work continues

Road closings in Pinellas Park will last another three weeks or so on 60th Street from 107th to 110th avenues. The city has put up signs to direct detoured southbound traffic via 61st Street to 107th Avenue. The closing is for the installation of a new sewer line.

Until next week, happy and safe motoring!

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

[Last modified November 3, 2007, 22:12:23]

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