Plans underway to make Gulf-To-Bay and Belcher Road safer

Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 18:50:06-05

Pinellas County leaders are considering a number of changes to one of the most dangerous intersections for your family: Gulf-To-Bay and Belcher Road.

Crossing guard Doug Carey was hit and killed by a driver at the corner of Belcher Road and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard on the morning of May 20, 2014. Now, nearly three years later, you can still see the mark from the impact.
Authorities say the driver of a Cadillac was seen on a traffic camera going through a red light, hitting a car, and then Carey. Two children were also injured.

There have also been a series of other deadly crashes involving motorcycles, pedestrians and cars.

Now, people tell us crossing the intersection is like playing a terrifying game of Russian Roulette.

"A lot of people are speeding," said one woman who walks the intersection every day. "They’re not paying attention to the light. They'll go right through it and boom, you're done."

"With all the extra traffic, people are less patient," said a bicyclist who has lived in the area for fifty years.

“There’s no doubt that that corner needs help," said one Pinellas Transportation leader.

Forward Pinellas met Wednesday to figure out what needs to be done to provide more safety to the intersection.

They're already working on adding another right turn lane onto Belcher Road.

They are now considering adding more left and right turn lanes to every leg of the intersection. But there's still many hurdles to overcome.

"You have to move powerlines, even when you’re constructing the road, there’s utilities underground that need to be moved too," said John Carpenter an engineer with Pinellas County Public Works.

There's also the cost. Pinellas County also is considering an overpass for cars. However, it could be around an $80M price tag.

But pedestrians say something needs to change in order to save lives.