New business brings more traffic to any area, but in south Tampa where a new grocery store opened three years ago, the traffic has yet to subside.
- Dale Mabry Highway and Swann Avenue especially busy on weekends
- FDOT looking at dangerous intersection
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There were big traffic headaches at the intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Swann Avenue before Trader Joe's opened its doors. According to Bay News 9 viewer Don Berk, it is not better today.
"It is dangerous, especially on the weekend, because people turn into the parking lot illegally across double yellow lines," Berk said. "When the lot is close to full, people back up the lane of Swann until it crosses Dale Mabry, stopping traffic."
Bay News 9 Real Time Traffic Expert Chuck Henson said it's not illegal to make the left turn across the double yellow lines. The double yellow indicates a no passing zone, but that doesn't negate Berk's issue.
Jonelle Gauger said some people park at her business, South Beach Tanning Company but then walk into the grocery store.
"The traffic is still really bad," she said. "It gets backed up a lot because there's no turning lanes to get into Trader Joe's. People do park here at this business as well."
"Managing the situation is complex. The city would be responsible for Swann Avenue, but the state is in charge of Dale Mabry Highway." - Bay News 9 Real Time Traffic Expert Chuck Henson
Most of the businesses on the corner have posted "customer only" signs on their lots to keep the store overflow from hurting their customers.
There is also an impact on the intersection.
"A lot of honking and people yelling and stuff, because they're blocking the intersection and people can't get through," Gauger said.
Managing the situation is complex. The city would be responsible for Swann Avenue, but the state is in charge of Dale Mabry Highway.
Kris Carson with the Florida Department of Transportation said the agency is looking at the intersection.
"We are currently reviewing crash and volume data," Carson said. "There are currently no concepts or designs yet as we are still in the data collection and review stage."
It could be years before any major changes to the traffic pattern. Drivers in the area on the weekend but not going to Trader Joe’s might consider MacDill Avenue or Westshore instead.