Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hillsborough Ave. Improvements?

According to a St. Pete Times article:

No left turns allowed here
In a bid to cut crashes, officials plan a raised median instead of a left-turn lane on Hillsborough Avenue.

TAMPA - Traffic crashes are becoming more and more common on the bustling stretch of E Hillsborough Avenue east of Interstate 275.

The annual total has risen steadily from 269 in 1999 to 351 in 2005 - a crash nearly every day along 3 miles of the thoroughfare from Nebraska Avenue to 50th Street, the state says.
The problem is the two-way left-turn lane that runs down the center of the seven-lane road, officials say. They say it has led to a left-turn free-for-all that causes too many accidents and leaves pedestrians no safe way to cross.

State officials, who are usually under pressure to add lanes to roads, announced Monday that they'll do away with that left-turn lane this fall.

They'll replace it with a raised concrete median, said Don Skelton, regional director of the state Department of Transportation.

The state will add left-turn arrows to traffic signals and keep the road's turn lanes blocks apart, restricting drivers to turn only at openings in the median.

About a third of accidents on that stretch of road are left-turn crashes, the DOT said.
"Often it's simply carelessness on the part of the turning driver," said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Coggins. "Typically somebody tries to beat the oncoming traffic."

Wrecks are also increasing because that's a busy east-west corridor, Coggins said.

At a public meeting last year, some neighbors worried that eliminating the left-turn lane would back up traffic.

But DOT engineers decided a median would prevent accidents and wouldn't make traffic worse.


Anonymous said...

It is disappointing to hear they are only concidering concrete medians, but no discussion of landscaping or pedestrian improvments like cross walks, special paving. Hillsborough is as important a street as Busch and Nebraska, but it is not treated the same.

Anonymous said...

Hell no, we don't want plants on Hillsborough. We need to save those to install in South Tampa.

Anonymous said...

FDOT plays under completely different rules than the city of Tampa - actually the city has no say and the DOT exists only to move traffic from point A to point B.

Screw the plants and the peds.

Anonymous said...

We need more speeder-cams to catch drivers trying to sneak through the yellow lights on Hillsborough at Highland, Florida, Central, and Nebraska Avenues. As often as not, the light turns red with them in the intersection as drivers who actually have a green light lose their minds.

Let these bozos start getting tickets and maybe our pedestrians will get safer.

Anonymous said...

Another assinine idea. I've driven Hillsborough Avenue from Florida to I-4 everyday for the past five years and I haven't seen this rash of accidents they are talking about but I have seen traffic get worse.

This so-called solution is just going compound the problem. I can't wait to see people backed up trying to turn left during car to car traffic during rush hour. And I can't even imagine how long it is going to take these dolts to do the work.

Why don't they time the lights on East Hillsborough? The light on 40th Street is a joke. It should be at least 30 seconds longer, this would help traffic flow.

Also, CSX shouldn't be allowed to run trains across East Hillsborough during rush hour. This happens alot and increases the congestion 10-fold.

They just built a huge apartment complex near the Farmer's Market which is a huge source of traffic and another apartment complex is on the way just west of 40th.

So the growth of autos in the area is increasing unabated.

And SOMETHING has to be done about the stretch of Hillsborough from 15th to Florida. This is the biggest clusterf-ck I have ever seen.

Until this problem is solved, the folks who live on Hanna should be ready for the Hanna Speedway b/c the traffic on their road is trying to avoid the Hillsborough mess. I do it myself.