Issue 11          

November 2013   

Walk Bike News banner

The Newsletter of the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

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

Walk Bike Plan extends to New Tampa & Green ARTery

Phase III of Tampa's Walk Bike Plan was approved by the MPO on October 1, 2013. This phase has two major objectives. The first objective is to complete a city-wide grid by identifying sidewalk and bikeway connections in the New Tampa area.  Intended for experienced commuters, this includes enhanced road crossings, marked lanes, and side paths.  Also included are potential trail connections to New Tampa Park, Tampa Palms, the Bypass Canal and the MetroRapid station at Hidden River.  


The second objective is to work with community organizations, and the Tampa's Transportation and Planning Divisions to refine the Green ARTery "Perimeter Trail" concept.  The trail is a loop through central Tampa designed for recreational and novice users using linear parks, paths and neighborhood greenways. It takes advantage of and provides access to central Tampa's parks, including the Hillsborough River. See the accompanying article for more information on grass-roots planning for the Green ARTery. 


Phase III project recommendations are consistent with Phases I and II, are developed to minimize right-of-way impacts, and avoid or minimize the (re)construction of roadway curb and drainage structures. The report provides a detailed description of the proposed Phase III projects.


For more information on Tampa Walk Bike III view the project page or contact Michele Ogilvie at 813-273-3774 x317 or

Bright Lights, Safe Nights wins Planning & Design Award
On October 17, the Planning Commission celebrated the very best in planning in our community with its 31st Annual  Planning & Design Awards presented by Tampa Electric at Maestro's at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. A wide variety of projects were recognized. An Award of Merit in the Investment Category was presented to the City of Tampa Transportation Division, Tampa Electric - TECO Energy, and KCA Engineering Consultant for their work on Bright Lights, Safe Nights.

Mayor Buckhorn's 2011 The Buckhorn Plan included a visionary program to determine where City street lights need to be updated, repaired or replaced.  The City partnered with Tampa Electric Company in 2012 to provide infill lighting to improve overall quality-of-life, increasing safety for bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles on streets and sidewalks.


Installations are along streets in high crime grids, with high crash rates and priority sites within Community Redevelopment Areas. Quality is assured by an inventory identifying dark spots, monitoring dimming lights, and removal of tree branch obstructions.


This $450,000 annual program adds approximately 1683 new street lights expanding the current network by 30%, through 2017.  The return on this cost-efficient investment is 11 to 1. The public participates in this program by calling a dedicated phone line or an online Customer Service Center to request new street lights or through their neighborhood groups.


The judges applauded this comprehensive investment to neighborhood safety and livability, as well as the recurring theme of public-private partnership to achieve these types of projects certain to give us a 'brighter' future.  Congratulations on this investment in our community certain to improve bicycle, pedestrian, as well as vehicle safety!

Making a more bike & walk-friendly downtown

Major improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure are taking place in downtown Tampa. Several major streets now have new bike lanes, new segments of the Riverwalk are under construction, and plans are underway to build the Selmon Greenway under the Expressway. Downtown will be the "diamond on the Green ARTery's necklace" as that trail is pieced together over the next few decades.  


The upcoming  Tampa Bay Bike Share program will be a game-changer in our downtown. Expected to launch next February, more than 300 bikes will be available to rent by the hour 24/7, and a substantial increase in cycling is expected.


The Tampa Downtown Partnership has consistently worked to find ways to make Tampa's downtown more walk and bike friendly. In 2007 they co-founded the Tampa BayCycle campaign, focused on cycling advocacy and education, including free bike safety classes. The Partnership added more than 100 bike racks both on re-purposed parking meter posts (pictured above) and as artwork made from old bike parts. 


As a result, the pent up demand for cycling is becoming more apparent each day. It is no longer unusual to see downtown cyclists commuting to work or an event, taking a guided tour or just leisurely riding along the Riverwalk and Bayshore Boulevard. One can often find "bicycle valet" at major events or a see a bike delivery person whiz past cars.   


The increase in downtown cycling, however, will trigger other needs. Since the bikes can lock up anywhere, more bike parking is needed. Installing more racks gets tricky with narrow sidewalks that are filling with things like outdoor cafes and pedestrians. One strategy is to add more bike parking medallions to the parking meter posts. Another is to take advantage of an under-utilized on-street parking space and turning it into a bike corral. Coupled with standard sidewalk bike racks, that strategy should provide ample opportunities to anyone wanting to enjoy downtown via bicycle. And don't forget that each HART bus and In-Town Trolley are equipped with a bike rack.


Even the most careful cyclist sometimes gets a flat tire or needs tools for a quick fix to their bike. The Tampa BayCycle campaign is adding five downtown bicycle repair stations, in addition to a few that are already in constant use at the University of South Florida campus


So next time you spend time downtown, consider arriving via bicycle. There are plenty of other things on which to spend the money you will save on parking!  For more information, contact Karen Kress, Transportation & Planning Director for the Tampa Downtown Partnership. 

Upper Tampa Bay Trail grows new legs 

Over 17 years in the making, construction of two legs of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail will begin by the end of 2013. Fondly referred to as segments "C-1" and "C-2", the project entails 4.3 miles of trail. C-1 follows Lutz Lake Fern Rd., connecting to more than 50 miles of regional trail at the southern terminus of the Suncoast Trail. C-2 extends from Lutz Lake Fern Rd. south to Keystone Park and Austin Davis Public Library, in the vicinity of Wayne Road. That leaves segments A and B, which will need further study before they can be completed.


The new trail segments are expected to open at the end of 2014. A partnership between Hillsborough County, FDOT and SWFMD are bringing this approximately $6 million asset to our community.


View more information on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail.
Green ARTery holds summit & celebration 

September 28, 2013 was a full day of celebration as the Green ARTery encouraged everyone to get out and explore Tampa's green spaces and trails. Mayor Bob Buckhorn opened the day at Fair Oaks Community Center for a fun morning of biking, walking, stroller-pushing, skateboarding children's bike rodeo, bike safety / WalkWise clinics, bike helmet raffles, games, info booths and gifts. A special route for wheelchairs and the physically challenged was provided. Group walks were also organized at the Sulphur Springs Pool, Riverside Park and Desoto Park.  


An evening celebration dinner followed at the Seminole Heights Garden Center where 90 people gathered for dinner, reminiscing and a special guest speaker - Ryan Gravel, Atlanta Beltline Senior Designer shared a brief history of that city's reuse of a 22-mile historic railroad corridor for pedestrian friendly rail transit and multi-use trails connecting 45 city neighborhoods directly and without automobile traffic. 


For more information visit the Green Artery website or contact
USF Bulls walk & talk safety 

The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) held the second

annual "Bulls Walk and Bike" week, September 9-13. USF students learned about Florida's bicycle and pedestrian laws. The event promoted awareness of bicycle and pedestrian safety. The week-long activities kicked off with a press conference and stroll around campus with USF President Judy Genshaft. MPO Executive Director Ray Chiaramonte participated as a speaker. Bulls Walk and Bike Week is supported by grants from the Florida Department of Transportation's Community Traffic Safety Program.


Safety messages promoted during Bulls Walk and Bike Week included 

  • Walk Wise, Bike Smart and Drive Carefully
  • Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow
  • Be aware of and follow ALL traffic laws
  • Look before Crossing
  • Cross at Crosswalks
  • Bike Lights on at Night
  • Bike Predictably
  • Share the Road with Bicyclists
  • Stop for Pedestrians
  • Stop Before Turning Right on Red

Other events included Walk Wise and Bike Smart safety presentations, a Bicycle Celebration event, and a Cycling Savvy course. CUTR gave away numerous rewards for participation throughout the week including t-shirts, water bottles, first aid kits, reflective gear, helmets, bike racks, and ten free bicycles!


MPO staff participated in a second Complete Streets Summit at the Marshall Center, the first one was held in April 2013. "Complete Streets" aim to ensure roadways are designed with all users in mind. The MPO staffed an Imagine 2040 iPad station to gather input on the blueprint for the future of Hillsborough County's long range land use and transportation plans. We received lots of input from a generation that will be directly impacted by the feedback given now.


For more information contact Lisa Silva at or 813-273-3774 x329. 

WalkWise Tampa Bay spreads word about ped safety

WalkWise Tampa Bay is a grassroots initiative that provides innovative pedestrian safety education to the citizens of Tampa Bay. Pedestrian safety affects everyone. We are all pedestrians at some point during our day, whether walking through a parking lot after shopping, walking from home or work to a vehicle, walking for exercise or simply walking to enjoy a beautiful Florida day. The WalkWise Tampa Bay campaign has provided over 1,200 presentations to over 14,000 people.

The WalkWise campaign provides an informative, free, customized presentation of 15 to 30 minutes to anyone living or working in Pinellas, Hillsborough or Pasco Counties. Participants engage in Q & A and become WalkWise Ambassadors after taking a pledge to spread the word about pedestrian safety.  After taking the pledge, they receive the sought-after WalkWise bag.


WalkWise Tampa Bay is managed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at USF and funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, District 7.   


To request a presentation, email Julie Bond, WalkWise project manager at  For more information on WalkWise visit the website at 

Walmart saves U.S. 41 median landscaping

George Wilkens, Tribune Staff - reprinted with permission from the Tampa Tribune.


Lutz residents angered by a proposal to remove trees and other decorative landscaping in a median along a seven-mile stretch of U.S. 41 can relax - at least for a couple years.


Working behind the scenes since the flap arose in January, Lutz residents, civic groups and State Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, lined up a corporate sponsor to maintain the ornamental plantings, which Hillsborough County labeled a luxury it could no longer afford.

"Everyone stepped up to the plate," said Mike White, president of the Lutz Citizens Coalition, one of several groups that got involved when word of the planned removal became public on Jan. 12. "The coalition has been working very closely with the senator's office. The goal has been reached, the medians are saved."


Hillsborough County officials called a meeting on Jan. 24 to discuss the plan to remove some 80 trees from the U.S. 41 median, from the North Florida Avenue apex to the Pasco County line.


"We thought that if government couldn't come up with a solution, maybe the private sector could." Legg said. "One of the first things we saw was there was a large Walmart here on the road. So we called some of the folks we knew at Walmart and said it would be a good civic duty if you could consider sponsoring this for a couple years and give us time to come up with a long-term solution."

"They were very quick to say yes," Legg said of Walmart. "It took a little while to get the logistics worked out."


That partnership includes Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, which has experience and insurance for such roadside projects. The agency's executive president, Debra Evenson, and its community education liaison, Patricia DePlasco, joined White, Legg and others for the Sept. 30 check presentation at the Lutz Walmart Supercenter, 1575 Land O'Lakes Blvd., near the north end of the landscaped median. The nonprofit environmental service organization, a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, will administer Walmart's $5,000 donation for median maintenance to be contracted through competitive bidding.


When residents learned of plans to remove crape myrtles, oaks, shrubs and decorative grasses in the median, county commissioners were barraged by e-mail and phone calls. The resulting meeting to discuss alternatives drew 200 people to the Lutz Community Center. The county agreed to leave the landscaping in place while exploring solutions through corporate sponsors, nonprofits, volunteer groups and civic associations.


The Florida Department of Transportation installed the landscaping years ago. After the state determined it could not afford upkeep, the county assumed maintenance. A commercial landscaper began providing free maintenance for the median about five years ago, but stopped in 2012, according to the county. Before the state would re-assume responsibility of a median, the county was required to remove trees and shrubs and plant Bahia sod, which led to the county's controversial plan. 

Governor Scott breaks ground on Coast-to-Coast Trail
Last month in Titusville, Governor Rick Scott, local officials and trail enthusiasts broke ground on the latest section of Florida's Coast-to-Coast trail. The $3.6 million segment is part of a trail that will stretch from Brevard County to St. Petersburg, and fills one of several key gaps.  Although Governor Scott vetoed full funding for the Coast-to-Coast Trail, the FDOT funded the segment in its work program.

"We are a state people want to come to, they want to come here to get outdoors," Scott was quoted in Florida Today. "As we add more bike trails, more connectors, it means we are going to have more tourists."

For more information, see the August 2013 issue of Walk Bike News.
Dear Livable Roadways Committee:
Subject: Livable Intersections -- Tampa's new 22nd St Roundabout

On the topic of "Livable Intersections," I wanted to call attention to Tampa's new low-speed one-lane modern roundabout on 22nd St.
If you drive around it a few times and glance at your speedometer, you'll notice your vehicle speed is probably about 15mph or even less. You'll find it hard to go much over 17mph. Such low speeds at intersections are a gift to all users of the roadway system:  children, oldsters, pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, and persons with disabilities, as well as able-bodied drivers in their prime.
The FHWA says that modern roundabouts reduce fatalities by "more than 90%."  This is huge.
At the roundabout ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Buckhorn said "It's all about economic opportunity, creating complete streets that serve everyone, and transforming a community."  Click to read the Tampa Tribune TBO article.
The new edition of the FDOT Florida Intersection Design Guide includes a new Chapter 7 with strong support for roundabouts.*  FDOT provided funding for the 22nd Street roundabout.

Carmel, IN, has built a modern roundabout for every 1,000 residents.  Carmel's motivation is quality of life.  With about 7 roundabouts constructed so far, Tampa has got a start on closing the gap to the 347 needed to achieve roundabout parity with Carmel.

Ken Sides, PE, PTOE
Resident, Old Carrollwood

"Roundabouts shall be considered the preferred option at intersections where the total projected (design year) entering traffic volumes are up to25,000 vehicles per day (vpd) for a single-lane, and up to 45,000 vpd for a two lane roundabout."
In this issue
Tampa Walk Bike III
Bright Lights, Safe Nights wins Award
Bike & walk-friendly downtown
Upper Tampa Bay Trail
Green ARTery Summit
USF Walks & Talks Safety
WalkWise Tampa Bay
Walmart Saves Landscaping
Coast-to-Coast Trail
Letter to the Livable Roadways Committee

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Imagine Hillsborough 2040
Imagine 2040 Survey extended thru Nov 11, 2013!



Transportation Disadvantaged Service Plan Regional Needs Workshop   
Nov 6, 2013
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Planning Commission Boardroom, 18th floor
601 E Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33602

Automated Vehicle Summit  
Nov 14-15, 2013
 Marriott Tampa Waterside
700 South Florida Ave
Tampa, FL 33602

Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail Grand Opening   
Nov 16, 2013  
  9am - Ben T Davis Beach
7740 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa

View Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail video 
Do the Local Motion 
Nov 15, 2013
12pm - All Aboard!

  410 N Franklin St  

Tampa, FL 33602

Nov 19, 2013 
5:15pm Holiday Shop Walk
410 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602

Full Local Motion schedule


Nov 13 


Dec 11 



Nov 20


Dec 11 


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18th Floor

Tampa, FL 33602


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