ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The City of St. Petersburg announced work will begin in September on a nearly $1 million resurfacing and reconfiguration project for Martin Luther King Jr. Street N.
The plan will add bike lanes and five pedestrian crosswalks from 4th Avenue North and 30th Avenue North.
To accommodate bike lanes, the City of St. Petersburg is reducing five vehicle lanes to four.
"It's a wonderful stretch of local businesses, but there's a lot of traffic," said Melissa Mudd, owner of Makeme Studio, located at 3028 Dr. MLK. Jr. St. N.
Mudd has operated her art studio in St. Pete's historic Uptown District for four years. She typically takes back streets and alleys to walk to work because of traffic concerns along MLK Street.
"I would be fearful of walking even on a sidewalk by there because there are a lot of accidents," said Mudd.
City officials say the safety changes come at a cost for drivers, as commute times will typically extend a minute and a half.
Michael Reedy is in favor of anything that slows drivers down in the area.
"There absolutely needs to be improvements," said Reedy. "We can easily bike downtown to work or go down to Vinoy, and that's something we would probably think more of by knowing that we're safe and not having to compete against the traffic."
City officials sent letters alerting business owners and neighbors about the changes to MLK Street Friday.
Work is expected to start after Labor Day.
For a detailed look at the project, click here.