Issue: 3 

October 2011    

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The Newsletter of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) & Livable Roadways Committee (LRC)


2011 Bicycle Bash Festival
2011 Bicycle BashSWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers) is proud to announce that the 2011 Bicycle Bash Festival, presented by Cure on Wheels, is scheduled for Nov. 6 from 10 am to 4 pm at beautiful Flatwoods County Park off Morris Bridge Road outside Tampa. The Bicycle Bash attracts bicyclists of all backgrounds -- casual neighborhood bicyclists, roadies and mountain bikers to urban cyclists, BMX enthusiasts and bike commuters. The Bicycle Bash is a fun day to celebrate bicycling, enjoy music and eat food at beautiful Flatwoods Park, where both road bicyclists and mountain bikers enjoy riding.

SWFBUD will also give its annual SWFBUDDY Awards at the Bicycle Bash to local residents who have helped the cause of bicycling in the Tampa Bay area this past year.  A swap meet, activities for kids and fun bike activities will be going on throughout the Bicycle Bash. Come ride your bicycle with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn around the 7-Mile Loop on the "Buckhorn Bash Ride" at 11:15 AM!

For more info visit the Bicycle Bash website:

New: Sharrows on MacDill Ave
Sharrows DiagramA repairing project along MacDill Avenue from the Airforce Base to Interbay Blvd has improved the existing roadway to better accommodate safe operations for vehicles and bicyclists. Shared Lane Markings, "Sharrows", are being added to this 1.1 mile long section and are scheduled to be in place October 2011. The Sharrow pavement marking on the road notifies vehicle drivers and bicyclists to share that portion of the roadway. The City of Tampa Transportation Division partnered with the Tampa Public Works Department to provide shared lane markings along this section of roadway as a part of the Department of Public Works resurfacing program which is funded by the Gas Tax.

Visit the Tampa Transportation Division website or call 813-274-8048 for more information.

USF Area Pedestrian Safety Improvements
USF Fletcher Pedestrian Safety ImprovementsHillsborough County is in the process of designing pedestrian safety improvements for Fletcher Avenue between Interstate 275 and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, and at a few intersections on Fletcher east of Bruce B. Downs. The study is being undertaken because the area surrounding Fletcher Ave. from 15th Street to 46th Street has one of the highest pedestrian crash rates in unincorporated Hillsborough County.

Planned improvements include sidewalk curb ramps, bike lanes, enhanced lighting, mid-block islands for pedestrian refuge and pedestrian-activated lighted crosswalks. Pedestrian safety education is also part of component of efforts in this area. Construction is partially funded and the county has applied for grants to complete the project.
For more information contact Michael Flick, Hillsborough County Public Works, at or 813-307-1881.

Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard Resurfacing
MLK ResurfacingFDOT District 7 is planning a repairing project on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, east of Nebraska Avenue to North 42nd Street in the City of Tampa. Within this approximately 2 mile project, the community can expect several pedestrian safety improvements, including the installation of  high-visibility crosswalks at North 26th Street, and the reconstruction of  deficient sidewalk curb ramps, missing sections of sidewalk and a new safer pedestrian crossing at 18th Street for students coming to and from Young Middle Magnet School. For the driving public several new left-turn lanes will be installed at 17th and 20th Streets to allow for safer access to Young school. Also planned in the resurfacing project is the narrowing of lanes to accommodate wider outside lanes for safer passage of bicyclists through the corridor. The project is expected to be completed by the Spring of 2012.

For more information contact Steve Carrol or Steffanie Workman at FDOT District 7, 813-975-6000.

Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail
Courtney Campbell Causeway TrailIn 2009, the MPO adopted the Long Range Transportation Plan including a trail connection along Courtney Campbell Causeway.  Recently, Florida Department of Transportation received competitive statewide funding for the construction of that trail.

Once planned to be constructed after 2025, the connection across Tampa Bay will be under construction later this year. By combining the trail with a planned repairing project, and receiving new grant funds, FDOT is able to move forward with the construction. In September, the MPO Board approved the advancement of this project by amending the Long Range Transportation Plan to include the accelerated schedule and additional funding.

Connecting with the U-Path in Hillsborough County, this 7.5 mile trail along one of Florida's Scenic Highways, will connect with the Bayshore Trail in Pinellas County and provide visitors and residents an opportunity to view one of our most valuable assets without the aid of a windshield.

Learn more about the Courtney Campbell as a Florida Scenic Highway.

Inaugural Tour of Oak Creek Charity Event
Oak Creek TourThe Tour of Oak Creek is a 7.5 mile cycling and 2 mile running event scheduled for October 15, 2011 taking place in Riverview, Florida. The route begins at Spoto High School. Tour goals include increasing social interaction in the Riverview area and promoting Oak Creek as a close-knit, caring community.  The Tour's primary charity sponsor is Tampa Bay Housing and Community Partnership, a local 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to renewing parks and neighborhoods.

To register as a participant and/or for more information, visit the website:

Program Promotes Bike Safety in New Tampa
Jim Shirk Bike SafetyOn September 10, 2011 the Tampa Palms Homeowners Association hosted a walking and bicycle safety meetup which included members of WalkWise Tampa Bay, the University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and the general public.

Jason E. Jackman, a CUTR researcher, presented the rules of the road for bicyclists. "For years now, we've been working with the Safe Routes to School Program...encouraging parents to walk and bike with their kids to school," Jackman said. "It can be difficult to show parents how to start, so that's what we're here for."

On hand to help Jackman was Jim Shirk, BPAC chairman and a 50-mile-a-week bicyclist, who noted that half the accidents are caused by cyclists, rather than drivers, and advised "Be visible, and be predictable.  Always ride in the direction of traffic, wear a helmet and use lights at night." The law requires a white light up front to illuminate your way, and a rear red light whenever cycling after dark.

Photo and excerpts courtesy of  Tristram DeRoma

Tampa Bypass Canal Trail Feasibility Study
Tampa Bypass Canal TrailOn September 6, 2011 the MPO Board agreed to conduct a feasibility study of the proposed Tampa Bypass Canal trail.

The Bypass Canal Trail concept is to create a multi-use trail running along the west side of the canal, connecting the Flatwoods Park in New Tampa (through Trout Creek Park) to the McKay Bay Trail and the proposed Selmon Greenway and South Coast Greenway. Challenges include trailhead access and the several crossings of major roads, including interstate highways. Underpasses may be possible but will need study.

The Tampa Bypass Canal trail is part of a planned county-wide network of trails and greenways and is identified in the 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan and in the 1995 Hillsborough County Greenways Master Plan.

For more information or to participate in the study contact Michele Ogilvie at or 813-273-3774 x. 317.

2011 National Walking Survey Results Are In
National Walking SurveyIf we as a society are to reap the multiple benefits of walking - physical, emotional, social, and environmental - then it is critically important to learn about the determinants of walking.  Why do some people walk?  Why do other people not walk?  This study aims to understand the underlying motivations for why people walk.

The survey found that while there are a number of reasons why people walk, the overriding reason cited by frequent walkers was related to health. More than any other factor, "maintaining good health" was mentioned as the single most important motivator. Significantly, this study has found that the more frequently an individual walks, the fewer the number of diseases a respondent reports being afflicted with.

This study has also found that, at least among avid walkers, about three-fifths decided to walk on their own initiative. Only 6.6 percent mentioned they heard or read about the benefits of walking through the media. An even smaller percent (4.0%) said that a health care professional encouraged them to walk. Moreover, even among those with serious medical conditions, only a small proportion said that a health care professional originally advised them to walk.

These findings suggest that greater efforts need to be expended to publicize the multiple benefits of walking - especially as they pertain to not just avoiding further physical decline but also to prevent illness from occurring in the first place. Publicizing the benefits of walking by itself will not necessarily induce people to walk more. According to the report two barriers need to be overcome: 1) a psychological resistance towards walking and 2) a re-structuring or development of neighborhoods that are more conducive to walking.

In terms of improving the physical infrastructure of communities to promote pedestrian safety, respondents, by large numbers, decried the unsmooth sidewalks or other walking surfaces (43.4%), lack of sidewalks (39.4%), poorly lit streets (33.3%), and too narrow sidewalks (23.3%).
View the complete survey results published by America Walks.

View the original survey.

Community Garden in I-275 Extra Right-of-Way
Tampa Heights Community GardenThe Grand Opening of Tampa Heights Community Garden was celebrated on August 27, 2011. On hand to support the community event was FDOT District 7 Secretary, Don Skelton. The land is part of an area that is designated for the Tampa Heights Greenway and was purchased by Florida Department of Transportation in the 1990s when planning for the expansion for I-275. The property is maintained by the City of Tampa through an agreement with FDOT. Lena Young Green, Tampa Heights resident, pointed out the uniqueness of hearing FDOT and a community garden linked in the same sentence. The placement of a plaque recognizing Secretary Skelton's support of this community asset is planned.

For more information visit the Tampa Heights Civic Association.

Gainesville Top 10 for Commuting By Bike
Gainesville Biking The Census Bureau has just released new data on journey-to-work. Gainesville FL is in the top 10 metro areas in the country for percent who commute to work by bicycle, giving Oregon and Colorado a run for their money.

For further information see the U. S. Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey Single Year Estimates.

News of the Weird: Mayor Crushes Car Blocking Bike Lane
Tank Crushes Car Blocking Bike LaneAny urban bicyclist can share with you the frustration of having to avoid people and cars blocking what should be clear bicycle lanes.  Arturas Zuokas, mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, lived out the fantasy of every bike messenger forced to dodge a Dodge (or BMW or Toyota) on their daily route. "I've had enough of these drivers parking their luxury cars on bike lanes and pedestrian crossings," said Zuokas, a former war reporter. "This tank is a good tool to solve the problem of parking in the wrong place." With that, the 43-year-old mayor rolled over a blue Mercedes that was parked in a bike lane.

Full article by Cord Jefferson, of GOOD.

In This Issue
2011 Bicycle Bash
MacDill Sharrows
USF Ped Improvements
MLK Improvements
Courtney Campbell Trail
Tour Oak Creek
New Tampa Bike Safety
Tampa Bypass Canal Trail
2011 Walking Survey
New Community Garden
Gainesville Bike Commuting
Tank vs Bike Lane Blockage



Upcoming Meetings


BPAC : 5:30 pm, 10/11/11

LRC : 9:00 am, 10/26/11


Planning Commission Boardroom, 601 E Kennedy Blvd, 18th Floor, Tampa



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