Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dr. Delay: St. Petersburg's traffic light synchronization hinges on 34th Street

Lorrie Lykins

Lorrie Lykins

A few times a week I drive my wife to work at the Dali Museum. Our preferred route is to take First Avenue S all the way and on most days, we can time it to get all green lights. In the past six weeks or so, the signals at 22nd Street and 20th Street have been retimed and stop us dead in our tracks. Can you explain the change?

Robert and Kathie Hurt

We asked Tim Funderburk, St. Petersburg's traffic signal coordinator, to fill us in on the recent retiming of signals on First Avenue N, First Avenue S, and Central Avenue.

Funderburk told us the timing of these signals was adjusted to coordinate with the state Department of Transportation's retiming of traffic signals on U.S. 19 (also known as 34th Street), which intersects with those three avenues. The cycle length of these three intersections was lengthened from 80 seconds to 120 seconds, which threw them out of sync with the rest of the signals on the streets and understandably led to many complaints.

To correct the slowdown, the cycle lengths of the intersections of First Avenues N and S and Central Avenue between 16th Street and 58th Street were also changed from 80 seconds to 120 seconds, so that they are now synchronized. This means that if you start at 16th Street heading west and stick to the speed limit, you should be able to get to 58th Street without hitting a red light. But a motorist starting at any other point along these routes will probably not experience the same smooth synchronization.

An issue with lengthening the signal cycle is that we now have longer intervals, meaning both the main roadways and the side streets are impacted, which is why, as you noted, you are experiencing a longer stop at 20th Street and 22nd Street.

Funderburk is looking into shortening the intervals for those side streets and says his aim is to maintain good synchronization where it existed before for the streets that intersect First Avenues N and S, and Central Avenue, but, as always, priority goes to the main streets because they have heavier traffic volume.

Barricade watch

Be alert to possible nighttime lane closures on the southbound Howard Frankland Bridge between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Friday through Saturday nights.

Email Dr. Delay at to share your traffic concerns and questions. Follow @AskDrDelay.

Dr. Delay: St. Petersburg's traffic light synchronization hinges on 34th Street 08/14/17 [Last modified: Monday, August 14, 2017 3:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears


    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings