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18 crashes this year at just one St. Pete intersection, locals demand changes

Posted at 3:25 PM, Jun 08, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG — Kristen Massey’s Honda was totaled last month after she tried to cross 5th Avenue North in St. Petersburg.

“I remember my car being spun around. And heading toward a pedestrian sign. And just remember all the airbags going off and the ringing in my ears," she said.

Kristen says she was T-boned by an SUV she couldn’t see because it was blocked by the line of cars.

She and her son were bruised but neither was seriously injured. Neither was the driver that hit her.

Kristen soon found out crashes at 20th street and 5th Avenue north happen far too often.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, the number of crashes went from 4 in 2019 to 7 last year. But it is already up to 18 crashes so far in 2021.

“I think part of the problem is the left-hand lane, which goes straight, backs up because the traffic is trying to on to 275 North during the busy times of the day," said Massey.

City officials tell ABC Action News they haven’t had any complaints about this intersection, But intersections with the highest crash numbers are those with higher speeds and higher volumes like this one.

The Florida Department of Transportation is slated to work on improvements to 5th Avenue North in the next 2-3 years.

They have reached out to the city to coordinate adding safety measures.

They say the intersection doesn’t have any obvious deficiencies, but reducing speed could help.

Kristen was ticketed in the crash but says she’d like to see a turn arrow added.

Whatever is done, she says it needs to be soon.

“I think the city of St. Pete and the state of Florida owes its citizens and tourists more than to say it’s going to be a few years before we can make this a safe intersection," said Massey.