The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is studying the Pasadena Avenue corridor, which runs from 66th Street North in St. Petersburg south through South Pasadena to Shore Drive South, for 18 months for possible changes, large and small.
ICON, a consulting group subcontractor from Tampa, began the study process in January 2017, said Daniel Carnley, an ICON project manager and engineer.
Pasadena Avenue, which is also known as State Road 693, covers a north-south distance of approximately 1.659 miles and traverses through the cities of St. Petersburg and South Pasadena. It is a major commercial and commuter highway that also serves as an evacuation route, according to the FDOT website.
The study process includes research that references from three to five years of traffic pattern and crash data records, three public meetings from June 2017 through February 2018 and three Project Advisory Group (PAG) meetings from July 2017 through March 2018, said Carnley. PAG meetings include area municipal officials, technical experts and volunteers from the community.
The second of three public meetings was held Tuesday, October 24 in the South Pasadena City Hall to collect visions of what changes, if any, community members and other stakeholders want. Thirty-four people attended including seven staff members from ICON and the city of South Pasadena.
During the information gathering session, the consulting group gave a brief slide presentation, took notes on oral comments from the audience, provided paper survey forms and two large printed maps of the corridor for people to write comments on or attach yellow paper notes to.
“We’re collecting all ideas,” said Bryan Shroyer, project manager for FDOT’s District 7 Planning and Environmental Management Office. “Right now, there is no specific budget for improvements.”
Depending on what changes may be approved in the future, funding can come from local municipalities, the state of Florida or the federal government, said Shroyer.
“In the short term, we are looking at fixes that relate to safety issues,” he said like painting vehicle turning lane lines or adjusting traffic signal timing at congested intersections to improve pedestrian flow. Multi-modal enhancement options that include bicycles and medical-related ambulatory devices such as battery-powered mobility chairs are also being considered.
Longer term and larger changes could include “straightening out the curve” where Pasadena Avenue North intersects with 66th Street North by acquiring needed residential property in the area using the eminent domain law, said Carnley.
Other ideas to decrease speeding and accidents on the congested curve include constructing a traffic circle or changing a portion of 66th Street North from Pasadena Avenue to Central Avenue from a two-way into a one-way, northbound street.
For more information about future meetings, to fill out a survey tool or contribute ideas to a virtual map, visit fdotd7studies.com/pasadenaave.