Issue: 7      

November 2012    

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The Newsletter of the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

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

Bicycle Bash & Summit November 4th & 5th

The sixth annual SWFBUD (Southwest Florida Bicycle United Dealers) Bicycle Bash invites bicyclists of all stripes, backgrounds, and interests to come to beautiful Cotanchobee Park on Tampa's waterfront on November 4, 2012.

Bicyclists of all ages and skill levels can participate. Vendors will line the RiverWalk with live music, food and a swap meet from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday. And later that evening, Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, and Tim Bustos, executive director of the Florida Bicycle Association, will meet and greet bicyclists after the Bash at 7 p.m. at the Independent Bar in Seminole Heights.

On Monday, November 5, the Tampa Bay Bike Summit will take place from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the Tampa Bay History Center - "The Big Turnaround: Bridging the Divide to Become A Great Bike Town." Visit the Bicycle Bash website for the complete schedule of activities and information on all of the speakers and facilitators.

Bikeshare Program Request for Proposals

(image courtesy of

Earlier this year, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn consulted with local entrepreneurs who are extremely interested in creating a bike sharing program, aiming to mirror successful programs spreading nationally and internationally in recent years. Such programs allow city denizens to rent bikes at a low lost for short periods of time. These bikes are placed conveniently at closely spaced rental stations.


"Biking is a great way to get around - it's easy, fun and good for the environment. It's also quickly becoming an integral part of how people commute around our urban core," Buckhorn said in a press release. "A bike share system would provide an affordable, healthy option for residents and visitors traveling around downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods."


The goal is to have 30 stations with 300 bikes throughout Tampa's downtown core, Ybor City and surrounding neighborhoods by fall 2013. Expansion phases will continue to Westshore and the University of South Florida area by fall 2015.


According to the City's Request for Proposal (RFP), the system should have "easy check-out and return, ease of use, fixed and flexible stations design, tracking of the bikes and mileage, solar powering stations, incorporation into other modes of transport to allow dual pricing for transit user, bike redistribution credit, flexible business models and theft deterrence."

Proposals must be submitted by 2:30 p.m. on November 7, 2012, to the City of Tampa Purchasing Department, located at 306 E Jackson Street.


Details courtesy of Creative Loafing.  



County Walk Bike Top 10 Priorities

A study of high pedestrian and bicycle crash areas was recently adopted by the MPO board as well as the Board of County Commissioners. The Pedestrian and Bicycle High Crash Areas Strategic Plan for Unincorporated Hillsborough County identifies 10 high-crash corridors prioritized for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements.

Implementation recommendations include intersection crosswalk restriping, new bike lanes, new right-turn islands with pedestrian activated signals, and new mid-block crossing. Additional recommendations include roadway lighting improvements and support of safety initiatives such as WalkWise Tampa Bay.

Hillsborough Walk Bike priorities (in order):

  1. Waters Ave from Dale Mabry Hwy to Florida Ave
  2. Fletcher Ave from N. Blvd to I-275
  3. Hanley Rd from Hillsborough Ave to Waters Ave
  4. Waters Ave from Sheldon Rd to Anderson Rd
  5. 56th St from Fowler Ave to Fletcher Ave 
  6. 42nd St from Fletcher Rd to Skipper Rd and Skipper Rd from 46th St to Bruce B Downs Blvd
  7. Bruce B Downs Blvd from Fletcher Rd to Tampa City Limit
  8. Bearss Ave from Dale Mabry Hwy to 22nd St
  9. Providence Rd from Bloomingdale Ave to SR 60
  10. Waters Ave from Anderson Rd to Dale Mabry Hwy

The Board of County Commissioners has funded the priorities and Hillsborough County Public Works has begun implementing the recommendations of the plan. "We anticipate the recommended improvements will be in place by the end of September 2013," said Public Works Manager, Bob Campbell.

Bypass Canal Update


The Tampa Bypass Canal east of Tampa and Temple Terrace could become a major recreation corridor, allowing families, friends and visitors to enjoy scenic vistas, active recreation, and possibly encounter wildlife close to the city.  On September 20, a public open house was held at Veteran's Memorial Park to exchange information and ideas on the proposed crossings in the Tampa Bypass Canal Trail Feasibility Study. "I am very excited about this excellent use of public property to provide a safe route for cyclists and a wonderful place to enjoy Florida bicycling free from dangers and clogged roads," said one participant.


With support from the canal owner, SWFWMD (Southwest Florida Water Management District), MPO staff and a general planning consultant began assessing the feasibility of developing a multi-use trail along the canal. The greatest challenges are the major roadways that cross the proposed trail, including I-75, US 301, I-4, Fletcher and Fowler Avenues, Harney Road and Adamo Drive. In addition to finding the best route for the trail, this study will also recommend the best trail crossing options at each of these roadways. 



Upper Tampa Bay Trail Extendsion

(image and details courtesy of

The Hillsborough County Commission's recent unanimous vote to extend the Upper Tampa Bay Trail has the $3.8 million project on track, but the road to its completion will be a hike, rather than a sprint.


The trail, used by more than 300,000 people annually, has been pieced together during the past 15 years as land and money have become available. The meandering seven-mile recreational path stretches from Memorial Highway through rural northwest Hillsborough County.


The 4.3-mile addition will extend the 12-foot wide paved trail from Van Dyke Road through the Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve and Lutz Lake Fern Road to connect to the Suncoast Trail.




The timeline outlined by the county includes reviews by outside agencies, pushing the extension opening into 2014.


View the full-sized Upper Tampa Bay Trail map



Green Artery to Enhance Tampa Trails

On October 18, twenty Tampa neighborhoods gathered at the Seminole Heights Garden Club to celebrate a two year effort called the Green Artery. The participating neighborhoods included  Old Seminole Heights, Southeast Seminole Heights, South Seminole Heights, VM Ybor, East Tampa, Historic Ybor, Ybor Heights, Palmetto Beach, Tampa RiverWalk, Tampa Heights, Ridgewood Park, Riverside Heights, Lake Minnehaha, Channel District, and Downtown Neighborhoods.  


The Green Artery seeks to create a network of trails for walking or bicycling, with many encounters with the Hillsborough River and natural springs that exist in the central city. The Green Artery is also working to create new tree canopies and help to enhance existing parks. We want our trails to be safe and inviting as they traverse our beautiful central core.  


Over the past two years, neighborhood leaders and volunteers conducted surveys and furthered dialogue among neighborhood groups, often in the home of a neighborhood volunteer. This has even inspired the establishment or rejuvenation of new neighborhood associations like Lake Minnehaha. "We look forward to really great organizations and events in the future to keep us all interacting together.  We will be rolling out our next steps in a couple of weeks and will be sure to have a lot of fun together in the process," said Lena Young Green, a member from Tampa Heights.



Strides for Education 5K Walk/Run

December is Strides for Education month! You can walk, run, volunteer, or help fund raise as a virtual walker.  Take Stock in Children is Florida's flagship and most successful mentoring program, with a 92% high school graduation rate and a dollar-for-dollar state match.


The Strides for Education 5k Walk/Run to benefit at-risk youth takes place on Saturday, December 8 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Plaza. Registration is at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m.



The Invisible Bicycle Helmet

In Sweden, about 40 people die and about 30,000 are injured in bicycling accidents each year. One in three bicyclists who are injured suffer head injuries. Concerned about these statistics, Swedish design students Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin took on a giant challenge as an exam project, something no one had done before. They wanted to make a helmet so attractive that adult cyclists would voluntarily start protecting their heads on the roads without the law ordering them to do so or else. They developed Hövding, the invisible bicycle helmet.

The most effective protection against serious injuries to the skull is to wear a bicycle helmet every time you get on your bicycle. International studies show injuries can be reduced by at least 60% by using a helmet. In fact, 40% of people who die in bicycling accidents would have survived had they been wearing one.

How does the invisible helmet work? Hövding is a collar for bicyclists, worn around the neck. The collar contains a folded up airbag that you'll only see if you happen to have an accident. The airbag is shaped like a hood, surrounding and protecting the bicyclist's head. The trigger mechanism is controlled by sensors which pick up the abnormal movements of a bicyclist in an accident.


Watch "The Invisible Bicycle Helmet " by Fredrik Gertten


Portland Installs Bicycle Counter

(image courtesy of and details courtesy of

The Portland (OR) Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has installed a bicycle counter on the Hawthorne Bridge, the first of it's kind in North America.

By having a more accurate picture of bicycle traffic, PBOT hopes to learn things like: What's the impact of weather on bicycle use? What percentage of Hawthorne Bridge users are on bicycles? Just how much is bicycling increasing in Portland? Will this type of public demonstration of bicycle use impact local attitudes about bicycling?

Given the challenge of obtaining reliable and easily affordable bicycle counts, local planners are paying close attention to Portland's bicycle counter results.

In this issue
2012 Bicycle Bash & Summit
Bikeshare RFP
County Walk Bike Priorities
Tampa Bypass Canal Trail
Upper Tampa Bay Trail
Tampa Green Artery
Strides for Education 5K
Invisible Bicycle Helmet
Portland Bicycle Counter

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