Pinellas Aims to Improve Transportation in Lealman
By ANNE LINDBERG,
The county is developing a long-range plan to help Lealman residents move about the county on foot, bicycle, car, bus, or wheelchair.
LEALMAN – Pinellas County officials are developing a plan to improve all forms of transportation in the unincorporated Lealman area.
Linking Lealman seeks to improve how people move around the Lealman community, regardless of age, ability or method of travel – foot, car, wheelchair, bus, or bike. The first steps involve identifying challenges, opportunities and potential improvements for streets, sidewalks and transit facilities in Lealman. The purpose of the study is to develop mobility and safety projects that can become part of the Pinellas County capital improvement program.
The county has developed a draft plan that spotlights the challenges of improving transportation in the Lealman area in general and of improving specific types of transportation.
Among the challenges:
REGIONAL AND LOCAL CONNECTIONS:
- Lealman has several opportunities to create a local trail system and connect to the regional trail system in Pinellas County.
- Severe sidewalk and bicycle gaps show a lack of an interconnected system. Opportunity exists for short-term projects to fill those gaps and increase mobility.
- Wayfinding and signage for parks and trails would increase usage and visibility of the multiple recreational amenities.
- There is a need for multi-modal improvements that work in tandem to create a safe and accessible transportation system for all users on key corridors such as 54th Avenue N, 62nd Avenue N, 46th Avenue N, 34th Street N, 28th Street N and 49th Street N.
- High peak traffic movement has led to several intersections operating at a failing level of service. Providing greater neighborhood access can be achieved through signal optimization.
- Traffic calming measurements are need in residential areas to increase safety and encourage multi-modal transportation.
- Situated between two major cities, Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg, the Lealman area could greatly benefit from gateways, wayfinding and signage indicating its boundaries.
- Multiple roadways aren’t continuous, creating a roadway system that lacks connectivity. This directs automobiles on to the main corridors instead of redirecting traffic towards local roads.
- Add sidewalks and lighting
- Improve street crossings and intersections
- Improve bicycle and trail links and safety
- Improve transit
County officials have scheduled a public workshop to discuss the draft Linking Lealman plan at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 7) at the Lealman Exchange, 5175 45th St. N in Lealman. Potential improvements for streets, sidewalks and other facilities that will be discussed during the workshop. Residents are encouraged to bring their ideas about how to make Lealman a better place to live and/or work.
Lealman is an unincorporated area generally located between Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg on the north and south. It extends from about I-275 to Park Street on the east and west and is divided in two by Kenneth City. The Linking Lealman plan focuses on the portion of Lealman that lies to the east of Kenneth City.
To see a copy of the draft Linking Lealman plan, go to pinellascounty.org.
Photo of 46th Avenue N in Lealman and map of study area courtesy of Pinellas County.
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