Stay on detour route, police warn South Tampa drivers

- Police are cracking down on a new traffic pattern to alleviate congestion on Lois Avenue -- and it's costing some drivers more than just a few seconds in traffic.

Since a span of West Shore Boulevard closed on May 11 for a canal rehabilitation project, Lois Avenue has experienced heavy congestion. Tampa police say northbound drivers are cutting around the city detour of Henderson Boulevard to Dale Mabry Highway, and instead turning left onto Lois Avenue.

"In addition to the traffic backup, other drivers that are in that left lane are getting impatient and darting out into the right lane to pass them," TPD's Officer Stephen Hiles said Monday.

Hiles says the number of accidents at the intersection has spiked since the West Shore closure. Last week, a new sign was put up at the intersection, prohibiting drivers from making a left turn onto Lois anymore. Monday morning, police were out in force ticketing drivers ignoring the new traffic pattern.

Some drivers say there wasn't enough warning about the change.

"People have been coming down here for years. Local people. They can't see a 6-by-8 sign, or whatever it is. It's terrible," driver Ron Tucker said Monday.

TPD says they will continue enforcing the new traffic pattern. Tickets for the offense cost $153.

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