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

FDOT made changes to the medians in July
Posted: 4:18 PM, Mar 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-13 18:41:43-04
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — They’re changes meant to make the road safer, yet, some drivers say they’re putting them in more danger.

FDOT made changes to the medians at 8 locations along 66th Street North in St. Pete in the Tyrone neighborhood. The medians restrict left-hand turns and, in some areas, restrict turns altogether.

Drivers say it's created a new danger: People forced to make daring U-turns instead.

FDOT made the changes on 66th Street N. between Pasadena and 30th Avenue N. in July after more than 200 car crashes over a two year period. Most of those crashes, according to FDOT, happened when drivers were making left-hand turns.

Yet, with seasonal residents back on the road, viewers contacted ABC Action News' Driving Tampa Bay Forward tip line concerned about the medians simply relocating the danger.

“Now the drivers just do U-turns wherever the heck they want," Mary Jo Strid, who lives off 66th Street N., exclaimed. “It’s crazy! I don't think it made it less dangerous at all.”

Amy Anderson, who works on 66th St. N, agrees.

“I’m not sure how to solve it but it definitely has become another issue. The medians resolved one issue and created another one," Anderson said.

Crash data from the Department of Highway Safety shows crashes haven’t gone down since the medians were changed. There have been 59 crashes since the medians went in.

“I don’t even want to go out because this road is so horrible,” Strid said with a sigh.

FDOT tells ABC Action News they plan to evaluate the changes made to the medians to see if they made the road safer this July, which will give them a full year of crash data to analyze.