Drivers not taking detours on Himes Avenue to access I-275 are using driveways to turn around

TAMPA - Orange cones.

Plywood signs spray-painted with 'No U-turn.'

Metal gates with bike locks.

These are all the different avenues residents living on Arch Street near North Himes Avenue are taking to detour drivers trying to access the interstate from making U-turns in their private driveways.

Drivers are unable to turn onto northbound I-275 from the southbound lanes.  There are signs on Himes Avenue warning drivers not to U-turn in the street.   Multiple detours are available but motorists have to wind through several streets to get back on to northbound Himes.  So, they are simply not taking the detours.

"It's beyond annoying," said Rob Barcus who works in the area.  "We are afraid to pull out of our own driveway because we are afraid we are going to get hit because people are pulling into it as we are trying to pull out."

Barcus estimates more than 150 drivers make U-turns in area driveways every day.

"It's ridiculous, ridiculous," he explained.

Barcus is now meeting company business partners at a closed gate and personally ushering them in.  The gate stays closed, there are cones in front of it and even a sign warning drivers there are no U-turns allowed. 

It is still not detouring drivers from doing so and the drivers have damaged property.

"Our mailbox used to be down the street at our other entrance but someone came through and ran it over," he added.

Neighbors told ABC Action News drivers even have the audacity to stop their cars, move the warnings signs and then use the driveway to make their U-turns.

"People just have no care," said Melissa Shering, a homeowner.

Shering said she has called TPD and city officials to get drivers to stop.  TPD told ABC Action News they are handing out $153 tickets to people who illegally U-turn on Himes Avenue but cannot ticket drivers turning private drives into thoroughfares. 

"I've almost been hit probably 10 times, I mean T-boned," explained Shering.

Even walking her dogs is no longer an option now that the road is so dangerous and potentially deadly.

"It is a safety hazard.  You can't walk down here.  It is impossible," she said.

ABC Action News spotted more than 30 cars making U-turns into driveways in less than an hour.  We tried to flag down some of the motorists but they drove off.

"It is [disrespectful of the neighborhood]," Shering added.

Construction in the area is expected to wrap up next month.

 

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