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Could eliminating left hand turns make our roads safer?

FDOT targets Tampa Road in Oldsmar for change
Posted at 3:46 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 18:20:39-04

OLDSMAR, Fla. — Reducing left turns: Is it the key to safer roads?

FDOT is considering a change for several roads across Tampa Bay. The plan is to close in medians and eliminate left-hand turns on busy, crash-prone roads. Currently, FDOT says more than 50 unsignalized intersections in Tampa Bay are on the list for possible changes. It will mean drivers having to make more U-turns, but FDOT says it could make a difference in making our roads safer.

FDOT wants to change some Tampa road intersections in Oldsmar

One place FDOT is considering this change is along Tampa Road in Oldsmar between Curlew Road and St. Petersburg Drive. The intersections of Tampa Road/Sunflower Drive, Tampa Road/Bay Arbor Boulevard and Tampa Rd/Bayview Boulevard could soon lose their left-turn lanes for drivers turning from the side streets onto Tampa Road.

Drivers say safety fix to St. Pete road is actually creating more danger

No left turns could be solution to reducing crashes at Gulf to Bay & Belcher

It's becoming a popular option for the state's transportation authority because they say it can reduce crashes at those intersections by 25%.

Yet, some business owners worry the raised medians will make it too difficult for customers to turn in and impact their sales.

The idea is spreading across Tampa Bay. FDOT has changed medians along portions of US-19 to eliminate dangerous left-hand turns. St. Petersburg eliminated some left-hand turns on 66th Street North in the area near Tyrone Square Mall. Currently, Pinellas County is considering doing the same at the intersection of Gulf to Bay and Belcher.

Up next for FDOT, they'll be looking into eliminating left hand turns at the intersection of Fowler Avenue and 12th Street in Tampa. There is a Virtual Public Hearing coming up next week on Monday (Aug 12) that you can join from the comfort of your home or office. The meeting will be at 2PM on August 12th. You can join in by clicking this link.