For two years, the Florida Department of Transportation has been holding public meetings, talking with elected officials and collecting crash data along 66th Street North from Pasadena through St Petersburg with the goal of making the drive on one of the County's busiest streets safer.
- FDOT to close mid lane turn at 66th St. N. in St. Petersburg
- Turn into CVS near intersection causes traffic problems
- CVS cut through in left lane turn becoming dangerous
One spot receiving special attention, is northbound 66th Street North at 22nd Avenue North. The left turn lane has been identified as dangerous.
Mona Speirs drives 66th Street North every day and has seen first hand the issues with the lane.
"The problem was, the turn into the CVS is so close to the intersection and then when you're behind somebody that you think is going to the light to make a left, you're stuck behind them wanting to turn into the CVS."
The lane includes a break in the median approximately forty yards from the traffic signal at 22nd Avenue North. Many drivers are caught by surprise when traffic ahead stops short of the end of the lane, to make an abrupt left turn into the drug store parking lot, however, the larger issue is for southbound traffic.
Southbound drivers with the right of way, pass the line of cars waiting for the northbound left turn arrow, but are not expecting a car in the middle of the turn lane to make a left across their path.
A secondary issue involves U-turns at the mid break in the lane. Signs indicate no U-turns, yet it is a regular occurrence. U-turns are legal at the signal, not at the cut through.
Speirs believes closing the lane mid break is the best solution. David Botello, Spokesperson for FDOT told Bay News 9 that their study agrees with Speirs' assessment.
A project to modify the turn lane northbound 66th Street North and at many intersections along the street has been approved. Work is scheduled to start this fall.