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Road Warrior: Dangerous intersection in St. Pete gets a makeover

9:52 PM, Jan 30, 2014   |    comments
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UPDATE: Thanks to our report on the dangerous right turn at 40th Ave. N. and 1st St. N. in St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg Transportation division addressed the problem by installing flex sticks to denote the right turn lane.  Traffic is no longer able to cut back into the eastbound lanes in the middle of the intersection in order to avoid turning right.  The change precedes a larger construction project at that intersection which will include a permanent splitter median.  

If you have questions or concerns for the Road Warrior, email those to roadwarrior@wtsp.com, and remember to follow Holley on Twitter during your morning commute at @10NewsTraffic.


St. Petersburg, Florida -- Based on viewer observations and my own accident monitoring, I was able to determine that 40th Ave. N. and 1st St. N. in St. Pete could be classified as a dangerous intersection.

For eastbound traffic, a designated right turn lane often causes motorists to make a last minute decision to change lanes in the middle of the intersection.

The result is sideswipe crashes or worse, overturned vehicles due to a median on the opposite side of the intersection.

When I approached the City of St. Petersburg Transportation Department's Mike Frederick about the problem, he told me the intersection is already set for construction which is projected to begin at the end of March.

In fact, updating the intersection for safety and adding mast arm traffic signals is just one piece of a larger project to make 38th Ave. N. (which becomes 40th Ave. N. east of 1st St. N.) safer between 4th St. N. and 1st St. N.

The project includes the addition of center medians, a traffic signal at 39th Avenue N. and adding a new median which will force motorists in the designated right turn lane (south on to 1st St. N.) to commit to their turn. 

Prior to construction beginning, Mike is talking with St. Pete Police about the benefits of installing flexible posts to take the place of a median at the dangerous right turn.

During construction, which has been developing since 2006 with funding being the primary reason for delays, drivers can expect to see lane closures on 38th Ave. N., but Mike says that those closures will be during daytime non rush-hour periods as well as overnight.

If you have questions or concerns for the Road Warrior, send those to roadwarrior@wtsp.com. Remember to follow Holley on Twitter at @10NewsTraffic throughout your weekday morning commute!

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