Issue: 4  

December 2011    

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

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


Temple Terrace's Walkable Downtown
Grand Opening Honors Mayor Joe Affronti
Affronti Temple Terrace Ribbon CuttingTemple Terrace opened its new downtown to the public on December, 1, 2011. The 600,000 square foot, 30-acre multi-use redevelopment project is an effort to update the shopping plaza southeast of Bullard Parkway and 56th Street, introducing office and retail space surrounded by restaurants, residential and cultural components.
The center of the complex includes over five acres of green space, including a gazebo surrounded by oak trees.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony included the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue of Temple Terrace Major Joe Affronti at the entrance to the gazebo.

Ray Chiaramonte, Executive Director of the Hillsborough MPO, was in attendance and commented, "I had one of the best experiences that a long range planner can have.  Our beloved Hillsborough MPO chair Mayor Affronti, who was honored here with a statue in his image, has been a passionate advocate for this project for the last ten years.  Without his leadership it is doubtful the progress that has been made would have been possible.  It is great to have been involved in something early on as a professional planner, and now to see it actually being built because of the leadership of a great man."

(Photo courtesy of Michael Dunn)

Tampa, Hillsborough County & MPO Collaborate on Strategic Improvements
Local governments face a daunting challenge to bring down high crash rates for pedestrians and cyclists while facing tight budgets.  High-crash areas have been identified, and broad-brush plans prepared for citywide and countywide networks of biking and walking routes.  But where to start, and how to get the most bang for the buck?

The City of Tampa and Hillsborough County are each working with the Hillsborough MPO on strategic plans for readily  constructible bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects.

Tampa's project, a.k.a "Walk-Bike Phase 2," builds on an earlier effort that focused on the city's three major activity centers, Downtown, the USF area, and the Westshore District.  Phase 2 will zoom in on:   
  • Cross-City north-south and east-west connections (such as Sligh, Waters and Armenia Avenues), including a better defined connection from the USF area to Downtown;
  • Central Tampa (including the "Green Artery" civic group's focus area);
  • Davis Islands and Harbour Island connections to Downtown (outside of the gated community);
  • South Tampa to MacDill Air Force Base;
  • Connections to East Tampa, including 40th St;
  • Connections to Tampa Greenways and Trails off-road trail facilities (typically located in Tampa Parks);
  • Connections to significant Hillsborough County and Temple Terrace bike facilities;
  • Connections to HART transfer centers and HART's top 20 bus stops.
Hillsborough County's project will focus on some of the high crash areas identified in the countywide Bicycle Safety and Pedestrian Safety Action Plans. Study areas include:
  • In the USF area - 56th, 42nd, and 46th Streets and Skipper Road;
  • In the Carroliwood area - Fletcher Ave, Northdale Blvd and Bearss Ave;
  • In the Town & Country /Egypt Lake area - Waters Ave, Lambright Rd, Sligh Ave, Hanley Rd and Sheldon Rd;
  • In the Palm River area - Maydell Dr, 78th St, and development of and connections to the South Coast Greenway;
  • In the Citrus Park area - Gunn Hwy, and connections to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail;
  • In the Brandon area - Parsons Ave, Mango Rd, Providence Rd, Bloomingdale Ave.
For more information or to schedule a presentation to your community group, please contact Michele Ogilvie, MPO Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, at or 813-273-3774 ext.317.

Mayor Buckhorn Leads Ride At Bike Bash
Mayor Buckhorn Bicycle BashOn Sunday, November 6,  Flatwoods Wilderness Park in Thonotosassa played host to hundreds of bicyclists, from the casual to the hardcore, who showed up to take part in the fifth annual Bicycle Bash.  The event is organized by Southwest Florida Bicycle United Dealers to help raise bike-safety awareness.  Among those in attendance were Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione, and state representatives Janet Cruz and Shawn Harrison. Mayor Buckhorn, who recently rolled out the City's bike-safety campaign, led a group of cyclists on a seven-mile ride through Flatwoods Park.

(Photo courtesy of Creative Loafing)

Folded Bikes O.K. On Board
Folding BikeThe Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) has recently updated its bikes on buses policy. Customers may now bring folded bicycles on board HART buses and HARTFlex vans.
Folded bikes on buses must:
  • Have 20-inch wheels or smaller; larger bicycles should be loaded on the bike rack on the outside of the bus.
  • Be folded and bagged before boarding the bus.
  • Be placed underneath the seat or in front of the customer so it does not take up extra seats or block the aisle.
Users of bicycles with larger wheels should continue using the bicycle rack. Each HART bus and HARTFlex van accommodates two bicycles. If the rack is full, patrons should be prepared to choose a location to lock up their bicycle, or wait for the next bus to arrive.

Only single-seat, two-wheel bicycles are permitted on buses; no tandems or three wheelers. Motor-powered vehicles are not permitted on the bus or on bicycle racks. For more information, visit  or call 813-254-4278.

FDOT Bike & Ped Safety Enhancements
Ped CrossingIn response to a new statewide directive to include or evaluate bike lanes on the State's transportation projects, the local Florida Department of Transportation district office has begun to evaluate State roads where bicycle lanes can be added quickly, easily, and cost effectively.  Recent crash history is one of the factors they looked at.
Some State roads in Hillsborough County already have a paved shoulder that is not designated as a bicycle lane.  In five such cases, projects are currently being designed to add bicycle lane pavement markings and signage.  Signage will include the traditional signs identifying the bicycle lane, which advise  cyclists and motorist alike where cyclists are expected to be, in the roadway.  They will also include the recently approved "Wrong Way" riding signs, which face opposite the direction of traffic, and inform cyclists that they should ride in the same direction as motor vehicles.


Early in 2012, these projects will be construction-ready:

  • US 41 from 15th Avenue NW to Austin St (Palm River area);
  • SR 60 from Memorial Gardens to Kings Ave (Brandon);
  • SR 60 from Clarence Gordon Jr. Road to Polk County Line (Plant City area);
  • SR 39 from North of Knights Griffin Road to Pasco County Line (Plant City area);
  • Fowler Ave from Nebraska Ave to 30th Street (USF Area).
FDOT also plans pedestrian safety enhancements, such as countdown signals, curb ramps, and high visibility crosswalks, at a number of locations:
  • Fowler Ave at Jefferson Rd
  • Sun City Center Blvd at Kings Blvd and at 33rd St SE
  • SR 60 (Brandon Blvd) intersections from Falkenburg Rd to Lithia Pinecrest Rd
  • SR 60 intersections from Valrico Rd to Dover Rd
  • Hillsborough Ave intersections through West Tampa and Town & County from Lois Ave to Tampa Shores Blvd
For more information contact David Skrelunas, FDOT District Safety Programs Manager (813)975-6524

Bike Smart & Walk Wise, Tampa Bay!
Bike SmartBikeSmart Tampa Bay provides short classes in Hillsborough and Pinellas County on safely sharing the road, for motorists and for bicyclists of all levels.  BikeSmart offers a short presentation for civic groups, as well as longer, hands-on workshops.  The BikeSmart program is funded through the Florida Department of Transportation District 7 and managed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at USF.
FDOT District 7 has also renewed the funding for the WalkWise Tampa Bay campaign for a second year.  Last year, WalkWise provided 400 presentations on avoiding pedestrian crashes at schools, senior centers, civic and homeowners associations, and other local groups.
Outreach to elementary schools has been a focus over the past year.  This year's program expands the audience to middle schoolers, with a first class on bike safety conducted at Martinez Middle School (shown above, courtesy of Safe Kids).
View the BikeSmart Course description.  For more information, contact Julie Bond at or 813.974.9799.

Seminole Heights Bicycle Club on PBS
Seminole Heights Bicycle Club on PBSPBS' new "Pedal America" TV show featured Tampa on Saturday, December 10, 2011.  For the occasion, the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club hosted a 12-mile ride to Hyde Park Village and back, followed by a local art show.  
Organizer Alan Snel had this account. "Our group of 35 diverse cyclists pedaling everything from road bikes to mountain bikes to fixed-gears to tandems was heading south on Tampa Street a few miles north of Downtown Tampa, and a group of about a half-dozen young men were on the sidewalk.
"We rang our bikes, bells and said Hey, and the guys reached out to give us high-fives. And there it was for all to see. The essence of bicycling is about making connections -- with one's neighbors, local businesses and even people you never knew-- until they share high-fives with you on a bike ride.

"And then we returned to Seminole Heights.  We had a wonderful art show that exhibited paintings, photos and even furniture with a bicycle theme."

For more information check out the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club, Alan Snel's bicycling blog and the Pedal America website.

(Photo courtesy of Alan Snel)

Tampa Supports Complete Streets
Complete StreetsOn December 1, Tampa City Council heard a presentation on Complete Streets policies that have been adopted by cities and counties around the United States.  Council asked its staff to draft a Resolution addressing Complete Streets , and bring it back to Council for approval.  The motion was agreed to unanimously.

What is a Complete Streets Policy? The National Complete Streets Coalition explains it this way:

"Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a complete street. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations."

"Creating complete streets means transportation agencies must change their approach to community roads. By adopting a Complete Streets policy, communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. This means that every transportation project will make the street network better and safer for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists - making your town a better place to live."

Visit for more information.

Sheldon Underpass Open!
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in January 
Sheldon UnderpassUpper Tampa Bay Trails Sheldon road underpass which replaces the surface crossing on Sheldon Road. Users of the Trail will now have uninterrupted and scenic travel along the 7 mile trail. The trail currently starts at Old Memorial Highway and heads north along the Channel A canal and ends at Peterson Road Park, but future plans extend the trail to the southern terminus of the Suncoast Trail on Lutz-Lake Fern Road. A January, 2012 official opening is being planned - stay tuned.

Visit the new Sheldon Road Underpass Facebook page for further information or contact Tina Russo, Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee Vice Chair, at 813-891-6732 or

Tampa's Streets On The World Stage
St Pete Times ForumTampa's sidewalks are up for a facelift as the city prepares to host the Republican Party's 40th presidential nominating convention at the Times Forum during the week of August 27, 2012.   City Transportation Division Staff has three survey teams examining sidewalk conditions around Downtown Tampa and the Westshore Business District, in preparation for the upcoming influx of 50,000 visitors. 

For more information on planned pedestrian improvements, contact John Marsh at  or 813-274-8007.

New USF Area Pedestrian Crossings Installed
USF Area Ped XingDue to concerns for safety among students at the University of South Florida, the Hillsborough County Public Works Department recently renovated 50th Street between Fletcher and Fowler Avenues. The project included reducing the speed limit on 50th Street from 45 to 40 mph, constructing two crosswalks across 50th Street with pedestrian signs, and installing 16 streetlights along the road.

For more information, contact Steve Valdez at 813-272-5275 or use this contact form.

In This Issue
Temple Terrace Downtown Grand Opening
Buckhorn @ Bike Bash
HART Folding Friendly
FDOT Bike/Ped Safety Enhancements
Bike Smart Walk Wise
Seminole Heights Bicycle Club on PBS
Tampa Complete Streets
Sheldon Underpass Open
Tampa Hosts RNC
USF Area Ped Xings



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BPAC : 5:30 pm, 01/11/12

LRC : 9:00 am, 01/25/12


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



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