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Confused? Yield to walkers

Dr. Delay Navigating South Pinellas

By LORRIE LYKINS, Times Correpondent
Published December 16, 2007


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New pedestrian crosswalk signs on Gulf Boulevard between Sand Key and St. Pete Beach have been the subject of recent inquiries. Readers have noted that law enforcement has been very active in ticketing motorists who fail to stop for pedestrians at these signs. That's good news.

But some of the signs have created confusion, which is troubling to folks who want to do the right thing.

Case in point: A traffic signal in Indian Shores between Park Boulevard and Walsingham Road also has a pedestrian "walk/don't walk" signal.

But there is also a county pedestrian crosswalk sign at this same point.

Reader Ken Christopherson wrote, "There have been a number of near rear-end collisions when traffic proceeding with the green light has stopped dead to allow pedestrians to cross the road. I can only assume those drivers are reacting to the county pedestrian signs rather than the lighted traffic signal.

"Question: Why is there a county sign at this intersection? Doesn't the regular vehicle/pedestrian traffic light work well enough? And if both controls are deemed necessary, which one has precedence?"

We spoke with Kris Carson of the Florida Department of Transportation who said that the "Pedestrian Crossing" signs are not regulatory devices. Their purpose is to define the location of the crosswalk, not to control traffic. "The signal mentioned by Mr. Christopherson was installed strictly for this pedestrian movement from the parking lot to the beach, and as such, standard pedestrian crossing warning signs were used," Carson said.

And as always, motorists must yield to foot traffic when pedestrians are in the crosswalk.

Booklet offers drink ideas for safe partying

The 2007 Recipes for the Road booklet, developed by the state DOT as an idea to reduce impaired driving during the holidays, is available. Many popular restaurants contributed recipes for this year's collection of nonalcoholic drink ideas.

According to DOT data, 1,099 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Florida last year. The Doc tries to avoid lecturing, but now's the time to make plans for sober partying or draw straws and designate a driver.

Recipes for the Road can be viewed atwww.tbinterstates.com/home/.

Various county projects could slow you down

Several construction projects may create delays and require extra caution. Some of the county public works projects to be aware of are:

CLEARWATER

Watch for road sweeping Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning on the Bayside Bridge.

INDIAN ROCKS

Paving on Gulf Boulevard from Walsingham Road to 20th Street will create delays.

LARGO

Sidewalk replacement on Belcher Road from 114th Avenue N to 117th Avenue N may slow traffic. Watch for workers repairing the median on Starkey Road north of Ulmerton.

LEALMAN

Work near Joe's Creek is due to dredging; stockpile sites at 46th Avenue N east and west of 71st Street N will have trucks entering or leaving the road. Tree trimming will slow traffic north of 54th Avenue N and south of 62nd Avenue N between 58th Way and 63rd Street N.

PINELLAS PARK

Belcher Road from 70th Avenue N to Bryan Dairy Road will have lane closures and temporary delays due to a beautification project.

ST. PETERSBURG

The work on Park Street that has narrowed southbound traffic to one lane from Tyrone Boulevard to about 22nd Avenue N will continue and cause delays as workers add sidewalks and ramps.

SEMINOLE

Sidewalk and drainage repairs will continue on 113th Street N from 106th Avenue N to 110th Avenue N.

Until next week, happy and safe motoring!

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

[Last modified December 15, 2007, 21:52:53]


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