|UPDATED: Davis Productivity Awards Winners|
|The Davis Productivity Awards article has been updated to correctly reflect the winning team members.
|Keep A Bicyclist Alive by Giving a 5|
In recent years, the number of bicyclists killed in Hillsborough County has been nearly triple the national average. Between Dec 24th 2011 and March 18th 2012, there were seven bicycle fatalities. That's an average of one every twelve days!
After reviewing these recent crashes, Jose Menendez, a member of the MPO's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), noted "two great dangers - riding at night without lights and trying to cross major roadways by darting out in front of motor vehicles. Cyclists need to be certain they have enough time to cross before starting across a road."
A bike safety education program that addresses these two issues, the Bicycle Safety Outreach Fund, was established by the MPO at the monthly Board Meeting on April 3rd. And, on April 4th, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners agreed to contribute $3000, twice the amount originally requested, as seed money for this new bicycle safety fund. Originally envisioned and now overseen by the BPAC, the Bicycle Safety Outreach Fund was established "to receive donations and to purchase bicycle lights, batteries, reflective vests, safety posters and other safety outreach materials."
$5 will fund the purchase of 1 reflective vest and 1 set of front and rear lights.
The lights and reflective vests will be distributed to cyclists on the roads. BPAC plans to work with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office to reach out to cyclists riding after dark without lights in violation of state law often encountered by their officers on patrol.
To donate to the MPO's Bicycle Safety Outreach Fund, contact Michele Ogilvie at 813-273-3774 x 317 or email@example.com.
|Bayshore Bike Lane Extended|
The City of Tampa has completed the first phase of its Complete Streets project on the northern end Bayshore Boulevard, adding 4-foot bike lanes on both sides of the boulevard from Platt Street to Rome Avenue.
The Bayshore project was split into three phases. The first phase, stretching 1.6 miles - or a 10-minute bike ride, was completed in late January, costing nearly $1.5 million funded by state gasoline taxes. "One point six miles is 1.6 miles we didn't have," said Jim Shirk, Chair of the Hillsborough MPO Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee. "I'm impressed that things are happening."
Scheduled to begin in 2014, the second phase of the Bayshore project will add bike lanes just south of the first phase from Rome to Howard Avenues at a cost of $2 million. The final $3 million phase, stretching from Howard Avenue to just north of Gandy Boulevard, will be scheduled when funding becomes available, according to city officials.
Details courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times; photo courtesy of Alan Snel.
22nd Street Complete Streets Project Underway
City officials and others hope reconstruction of 22nd Street can turn back the clock. Many storefronts on the mile-long strip from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to 21st Avenue are shuttered or have long since been bulldozed. But 30 years ago, in its heyday, 22nd Street was a nexus for black-owned businesses.
After more than five years of planning, work to rebuild and beautify the street is underway. City officials are hoping the project spurs an economic rebirth. In addition to reconstructing the two-lane road, the project will add sidewalks, a multipurpose lane, landscaping, pedestrian lighting and decorative crossings.
"This will hopefully spur revitalization of that entire neighborhood," said Essie Sims Jr., Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Board to the East Tampa Community Redevelopment Area, which provided most of the project's $7 million funding.
Details and photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times.
|Recent County Bike & Sidewalk Projects|
Hillsborough County completes construction of new bike lanes as well as renovation of existing sidewalks:
- 19th Ave NE near Sun City - newly completed paved shoulder/bike lane extending from east of Cypress Village Blvd to 30th St SE; construction will continue to extend this new infrastructure as funding becomes available -- for more information contact Roger Cox at 813-307-1789 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- County Road 39 - newly completed paved shoulder/bike lane extending from the intersection of CR39 and Lithia Pinecrest to the bridge over the Alafia River -- for more information contact Roger Cox at 813-307-1789 or email@example.com
- Brandon/Valrico sidewalk renovation along Durant Road between St. Cloud and Mulrennan -- for more information contact Chris Bridges at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Sidewalks on Busch, North of Armenia
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is preparing for the milling and resurfacing of SR 580 (Busch Blvd) from Dale Mabry Highway east to Armenia Avenue.
This project includes the addition of sidewalk on both the north and south side of the roadway throughout the project limits. This section of roadway is a four-lane, divided roadway with either 4' paved shoulders or curb and gutter and is classified as an Urban Principal Arterial. Also included in this project are minor drainage improvements, signing and pavement marking improvements as well as signal upgrades.
Hillsborough Ave Safety Features
With a road safety audit as their guide, city and state highway officials say they are taking steps to improve conditions for pedestrians on East Hillsborough Avenue from 22nd to 34th streets.
Increased lighting, new signage and repairs to ramps and sidewalks are among the recommendations included in the City of Tampa's recent audit, focusing on education, law enforcement and engineering by Hillsborough County Schools and Florida's Department of Transportation. The audit was commissioned following the death of 15-year-old Shenika Davis. The Middleton High School student was struck by a pickup as she crossed Hillsborough Avenue on her way to school last October.
The City and Tampa Electric are working together to ensure replacement of burned-out streetlights. And CSX railroad officials are posting "No Trespassing" signs along tracks near where Davis crossed Hillsborough. The railroad right-of-way has been a cut-through route for some pedestrians, but the audit notes CSX is not currently able to install fencing in that area. Also, a pedestrian warning zone will be established between 22nd and 30th streets with flashing signage.
State highway officials eliminated Hillsborough's two-way center turn lane, and installed medians along portions of the avenue between Nebraska Avenue and 50th Street. At that time, highway officials said the redesign was to decrease traffic accidents, in part caused by motorists making U-turns or colliding within the center lane.
Details courtesy of Tampa Bay Online.
TBARTA Adds Cycling Facilities
With some encouragement from Alan Snel and other members of the MPO's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority has installed new bike racks outside its main offices.
Amy Ellis, Director of Communications for TBARTA, had this to say, "TBARTA is very supportive of bicycle and pedestrian access as essential components of a true multimodal transportation system. We want people to have options for getting around, and biking is an important part of that."
Photo and details courtesy of Alan Snel.
|New Riverwalk Segment Underway|
Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced the beginning of construction of the next link of the Tampa Riverwalk, the "CapTrust Segment" on January 25th.
"I am committed to seeing the Riverwalk completed, from Channelside through Tampa Heights," said Mayor Buckhorn. "The Hillsborough River is an asset for our community, and we have to make it accessible and enjoyable for everyone. This construction means we are a step closer to achieving that goal."
This construction project will extend the waterfront pedestrian walkway from the Brownstone segment at S Ashley Drive and Brorein Street, now under construction, another 220 feet to the north, via an overwater pathway around the CapTrust Building to connect to MacDill Park at 100 N Ashley Drive.
For more information visit TampaGov.net.
|State Recognizes Safety Plans with Award|
The annual Prudential - Davis Productivity Awards recognize efforts in state government for productivity and innovation. This year's competition attracted 533 nominations worth $509 million in cost savings, cost avoidances, and increased revenue for state government. Since 1989, award winners have produced more than $7.6 billion worth of added value for taxpayers and businesses.
At FDOT District 7 the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP) Team won an award for their work on strategies to reduce our high crash rates. PSAP team members included Gary Thompson, Ronald Chin, Marianne Trussell, Joseph Santos, Dennis Scott, Mary Ann Koos, Annette Brennan, Bernie Masing, David Skrelunas, Demian Miller, Dwight Kingsbury, Elizabeth DeJesus, Gail Holley, Gary Amig, Jonathan Harris, Ken Jeffries, Lori Marable, Marci Larson, Mark Wilson, Pat Pieratte, Peter Hsu, Providance Nagy, Richard Morrow, Rick Mitinger, Rudy Umbs, Sarita Taylor, Stephen Benson, Trenda McPherson, William Roll and Zena Riley.
The PSAP Process includes three basic steps:
- Baseline assessment - evaluate the local area's pedestrian crash data and current mitigation strategies;
- Apply Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recommended best practices based on the baseline assessment findings;
- Engage local agency stakeholders to prioritize and implement best practice strategies.
The Hillsborough Bicycle Safety Action Plan, which adapted the PSAP method to study bicycle crash reduction, also won an award. This plan guides strategies to improve bicyclist safety and mobility. Team members from several agencies and consultants included Peter Hsu, Gena Torres, Ronald Chin, Gary Thompson, Jeanette Rouse, Dennis Scott, Beth Alden, Demian Miller, Gary Tait, Julie Bond, Lori Marable, Peter Brett, Stephen Benson and William Roll.
Congratulations to all award recipients!
|Cigar City Brewing Criterium Festival 2012|
If you've never seen a Criterium-style bike race close up, you're missing out on one of the most incredible sports in the world. Unlike long distance 'stage races' such as the Tour de France, this is a sprint-style race, with a short one kilometer course lapped over and over.
The fourth annual Cigar City Brewing Criterium and Street Festival took place in downtown Tampa this past Saturday, March 31st. While the athletes competed in races all day, the street festival was in full swing. Spectators watched demos of bike polo and roller derby, browsed through the Expo area and enjoyed Criterium Ale from Cigar City Brewery. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was also in attendance Saturday and led the children's ride through Lykes Gaslight Park.
Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Online.
|Bike Summit Gets Rolling|
The League of American Bicyclists welcomed a record crowd to the 2012 National Bike Summit on March 21, 2012. Over 800 attendees filled the basement of the Grand Hyatt Washington at Metro Center in D.C. to hear remarks from federal lawmakers and officials about the state of bike advocacy in America.
Highlights from the summit include:
- Rep. Tom Petri of Wisconsin said, "We all know our nation needs a first-rate infrastructure to support a first-rate economy, so we need to invest in an adequate way, and we're not." America spends only 2 percent of GDP on infrastructure, he said, while many peer nations spend upwards of 5 percent.
- Rep. Donna Edwards, a Democrat from Maryland, told the story of how she came to consider herself a cyclist. She explained that it began by being first a student who needed a bike to get to school, then a working mother without a car who needed to get her child to daycare on the way to her job. Given her background coordinating advocacy days for nonprofits, she stressed that personal stories would help carry the message to members of Congress.
- Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service, explained the long-standing, mutually beneficial relationship between cyclists and national parks. "I cannot think of a time when I didn't have a bicycle," he said, and riding through the system he now runs has taught him that "we haven't been all that bike-friendly in all our parks over the years." But he was pleased to announce impending changes to rules on mountain bikes, as well as the placement of Capital Bikeshare stations on the National Mall in D.C.
Details courtesy of Ben Goldman @ dc.streetsblog.org
|Do The Local Motion|
The Tampa Downtown Partnership and its partners invite you to enjoy learning more about your active downtown community while realizing the wellness benefits of outdoor activity. Do The Local Motion Tampa Bay is a free program that combines fitness with culture and community.
Free guided walking tours are offered twice per month on Fridays at noon. The group meets at Twiggs and Franklin Streets, adjacent to the Tampa Downtown Market. A different route and theme is offered each time, with guest tour guides offering their unique perspective on downtown. Plus, the 1st Friday of each month, come early to browse our "Do the Local Motion Village" from 10am -2pm.
|Penn's Cycling School|
Penn's Cycling School, run by Sharon Monahan, offers smart cycling classes and opportunities. Recently Penn's Cycling has partnered with FDOT's Safe Routes to School program and St. Josephs Children's Hospital to train 95 Elementary and Middle school teachers to become Youth Instructors. These teachers will now be able to spread the work and implement proper bicycle education programs at their schools.
Sharon is a LAB League cycling instructor and multiple national champion with 25 years of riding and racing experience.
For more information visit the Penn's Cycling School website.
BPAC : 5:30 pm, 04/11/12
LRC : 9:00 am, 04/18/12
Planning Commission Boardroom, 601 E Kennedy Blvd, 18th Floor, Tampa