It appears that the minimum amount of time for a transition in Premiere Elements is 1 second. It would be wonderful if Adobe would make it possible to shorten that transition time. There are just times when being able to have a 1/2 second or maybe even less would really help make for a better video. Please Adobe ... Please give us the option to go less than 1 full second on the transitions.
Please note that this is a user to user forum. Most likely Adobe won't see your feature request here.
My thx to Steve and 150kw for providing the answer. Haven't tried it yet but will later today. And, the screen shots and direction were spot on as far as that goes.
One wonders why this procedure is not included in any existing tutorial list. And clearly labelled as such. "Want to tweak your transition times?"