Issue: 13      

May 2014    

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

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


Walk Bike safety reminder!

Fletcher Avenue gets safer for people on foot 


More than 1,400 pedestrians cross Fletcher Avenue each day. Between 2006 and 2010, the Sheriff's Office reported 63 pedestrian accidents for the section of Fletcher from Nebraska Avenue to 50th Street. One of the highest pedestrian crash rates in unincorporated Hillsborough County, of these 63 crashes, three resulted in fatalities and 22 in incapacitating injuries.

The Hillsborough County Public Works Department is working to make this busy road safer for walkers. The Fletcher Avenue "Complete Streets" project will help improve pedestrian and bicycle safety through: 
  • Constructing a sidewalk on the south side of Fletcher between Bruce B Downs Boulevard and 50th Street
  • Constructing pedestrian refuge islands, mid-block pedestrian crossings and bicycle lanes on the 3.1 mile segment that spans from Nebraska Avenue to 50th Street
  • Resurfacing the roadway from Nebraska Avenue to Bruce B Downs Boulevard
The County is also producing an educational video to be shown in north Tampa community centers and on television monitors at the University of South Florida. Brochures will be distributed at schools, retail establishments and other places people congregate. Construction began in August 2013 and is expected to be completed in late July 2014. The cost of the project is $4.7 million, including a $2.5 million safety grant from FDOT.


For more information, contact the Hillsborough County Public Works Department at 813/635-5400, or visit the Fletcher Ave "Complete Streets" Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety project website.

Platt Street resurfacing may include bike lane  

The City of Tampa is scheduled to start resurfacing Platt Street within the next six weeks. Plans show Platt Street with three lanes with a bicycle lane going eastbound. The plan for Brorein/Cleveland Street is also near completion for three lanes with a buffered bicycle lane in the westbound direction.

Platt Street is not wide enough to accommodate the travel lanes with buffering for a bicycle lane. A speed study has been requested to see if it is possible to reduce the speed limit from 40 mph to 35 mph, which would allow the City to reduce the travel lane width to 10 feet and add the 2 feet buffer. For more information, contact Calvin Thornton with the City of Tampa.

Bike lanes & sidewalks slated for US 41   


Last year, FDOT District Seven began a Project Development & Environment (PD&E) study of US 41 (SR 45) in south Hillsborough County. The study focuses on a segment beginning at Kracker Avenue and extending to just south of SR 676 (Causeway Boulevard) - a distance of approximately 7.8 miles. US 41 is one of three heavily traveled north-south roadways in southern part of the county, running parallel to both I-75 and US 301. With the goal of improving mobility and enhancing safety, several alternatives will be developed, including:

  • Options for widening the road from four to six lanes
  • Sidewalks, bike lanes, and bus stop foundations
  • Improvements to the bridges over the Alafia River and Bullfrog Creek

The study will examine potential effects on the built and natural environment. FDOT will be working closely with the US Coast Guard if the bridges require replacement. The proposed project is not presently included in the MPO's 2035 Plan as an affordable project. However, the need to widen US 41 to six lanes is in the Plan. The PD&E study is expected to be wrapped up by early 2015. For more information, email Rick Adair or call 813/975-6446.

May is National Bike Month! 


May is National Bike Month! Celebrate with a variety of cycling activities and events around the Tampa Bay area. Locally, the Tampa BayCycle campaign is brought to you by the Tampa Downtown Partnership and the New North Transportation Alliance.

"Through Tampa BayCycle, we want to offer a variety of opportunities for people to get on their bikes. From bike valet at the Tampa Downtown Market and area events, bike safety classes, to promoting Bicycle Friendly Businesses designation; there is something for everyone offered throughout the month" said Karen Kress, director of transportation and planning for the Tampa Downtown Partnership and a bikes on bus commuter. "Fifteen percent of trips are within one mile of home and could easily be taken by bicycle instead of car. With a helmet, proper safety skills, and careful route choice, bicycling becomes a much more feasible and healthier way to get around."


Cool Bike Month stuff for you and to do! 


Caffeinated cyclists: Tampa BayCycle has partnered with Kahwa Coffee's six area locations to distribute free bike light safety kits through the "Drink up then Light up" campaign. Free cup of coffee included!


Bike repair stations: The New North Transportation Alliance is placing a network of bicycle repair stations around the USF area. The self-repair stations provide a stand, tools, and air pump.


More bike parking: In preparation for Coast Bikeshare, the Tampa Downtown Partnership is adding more bike parking options. It will be a combination of medallions on parking meter posts, free standing bike racks and two do-it-yourself-repair stations, bringing the number of places to park your bike downtown to approximately 250!


Bicycle to the market: The Tampa Downtown Market offers free bike valet, bike safety literature, and bike lights every Sunday from 10am - 3pm. Check out the Coast bikes at the market, and enter to win a free bikeshare one month membership. The market will feature different local bike groups each week:


  • May 4:  City Bike Tampa Use the bike valet at the market and get 50% off a tune-up ($35 value)
  • May 11: Tampa Bay Bike Co-Op Free safety checks from a staff mechanic to attendees who ride their bike to the market
  • May 18: History Bike Tampa Abbreviated tours from the market at 11am, 1pm, and 2pm


More good stuff:


May 1 Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County (EPC) 13th Annual  Clean Air Fair 11:30am-1:30pm Poe Plaza in downtown Tampa. Free annual Coast Bikeshare membership drawing.


May 3 History Bike Tampa Tour 10am - 12noon


May 7  National Bike to School Day 


May 8 BikeSmart Class 6pm @ Duckweed Urban Market. Participants receive free bike gear. RSVP required.     


May 10 Free Bike valet at  Mayor's Mac & Cheese Throwdown 


May 11 Free Bike valet at Seminole Heights Market 


May 14 Want to make walking and bicycling safer in Hillsborough County? Check out the MPO's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting at 5:30pm 


May 15 12-1pm BikeSmart Class (classroom setting) 12 noon - 1pm Receive a bicycle headlight set. Two locations: USF - RSVP required, email Julie Bond or call 813/974-9799.Downtown Tampa - RSVP required, email Karen Kress  or call 813/221-3686.


May 16 National Bike to Work Day 

For Tampa's Downtown Bike to Work info, contact Karen Kress


May 21 Ride of Silence 


May 22 Urban Restaurant Tour 


May 28 Free workshop Fixed Gears are Over, Learn How to Shift 


May 30 Critical Mass Tampa ride starts at Curtis Hixon Park at 7:30pm


May 31 Free mountain bike skill training and ride 9am - 11am (value $120 per person!). Enjoy a morning riding the challenging off-road trails at  Alafia River State Park. Learn from guide Kurt Galatro, U.S. Cup Mountainbike Champion! RSVP required to . BYOB (bike) but limited rentals may be available.


Check out group rides available in the Tampa Bay area. Visit Tampa Baycycle's 2014 events page for updates to this list. 

Tampa International Airport redefines "runway"  


On a gorgeous Saturday morning, April 26th, TIA held its 2nd annual Tampa International Airport 5K Runway Fun Run . A maximum capacity of 1,500 participants (more than doubling last year's crowd) had the opportunity to experience the smooth surface of Runway 1L/19R.

All ages and levels of experience piloted their way down the massive runway normally used exclusively by jet airplanes, putting new meaning in the word "runway." Through registrations, sponsorships, and raffles, nearly $60,000 was raised to benefit the United Way Suncoast educational programs that give children the skills to succeed and help adults achieve long term financial stability to break the cycle of generational poverty. Now that's what we call a smooth landing!

Bicycle Bash lauds local cycling heroes 


Pictured above at the 7th annual Bicycle Bash (from left to right) Ride of Silence organizer Jose Menendez, MPO Chair County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, BPAC Chair Jim Shirk, and the Sierra's Club Phil Compton.

Tampa Bay's seventh annual Bicycle Bash, held April 6th at Cotanchobee Park in Downtown Tampa, featured awards for several local cycling heroes. Two of those recognized were Hillsborough County Detective Jennifer Shelton and Assistant State Attorney Barbara Coleman, who have been responsible for bringing dangerous drivers to justice.

Nancy and Gary Chapin of St Petersburg were recognized for hundreds of volunteer hours keeping the Pinellas Trail safe and clean, and Chip Haynes of Clearwater for his tireless advocacy, including his book, The Practical Cyclist: Bicycling for Real People.

Felicia Leonard, with the City of Clearwater, was recognized for including cycling in the city's many parks. The awards and the event were presented by the Southwest Florida Bicyclists United with Dealers to celebrate and raise awareness of cycling in Tampa Bay, where over 9,000 commuters use a bicycle for transportation every day, said SWFBUD spokesperson J. Steele Olmsted.

8 fascinating facts about bicycling and walking in the United States 


The Alliance for Biking & Walking has produced a benchmarking report on walking and bicycling in all 50 states, 52 of the most populous cities, and 17 midsized cities.  Here is their peek at the eight most interesting trends: 

  1. We're seeing small but steady increases in the number of people biking and walking to work
  2. There are lower bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities where there are more people biking and walking
  3. More people tend to bike or walk to work when a city has string biking and walking advocacy
  4. People are healthier in states where more people bike and walk
  5. A large percentage of commuters bike and walk to work in Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New York and Vermont
  6. Biking and walking fatality rates have been decreasing for decades--but are seeing a recent uptick
  7. Few federal dollars go towards bicycling and walking, compared to trips taken and fatality rates
  8. More and more cities are setting goals to increase biking and walking and improve safety


More information and the full benchmarking report

A new bike lane for a new economy  


U.S. cities are discovering an unexpected tool to create new economic opportunities: the protected bike lane.

The conventional bike lane is getting a makeover in American cities. No longer relying on just a few inches of white paint to give people on bikes a feeling of security and comfort on busy streets, modern protected bike lanes use curbs, planters, parked cars or simple posts to clearly separate bikes from auto traffic and sidewalks. They are proving effective in creating appealing places for everyone, but are especially inviting to new riders.

Four ways protected bike lanes boost economic growth:
  1. Fueling redevelopment to boost real estate value - As city populations grow, motor vehicle congestion increases. New roads are rarely an option in mature cities. Protected bike lanes bring order and predictability to streets and provide transportation choices while helping to build neighborhoods where everyone enjoys spending time. By extending the geographic range of travel, bike lanes help neighborhoods redevelop more quickly than waiting years for new transit service to debut.
  2. Helping companies score talented workers - Savvy workers, especially Millennials and members of Generation X, increasingly prefer downtown jobs and nearby homes. Because protected bike lanes make biking more comfortable and popular, they help companies locate downtown without breaking the bank on auto parking space, and allow workers to reach their desk the way they increasingly prefer: under their own power.   
  3. Making workers healthier and more productive - From DC to Chicago to Portland, the story is the same: people go out of their way to use protected bike lanes. By creating clear delineation between auto and bike traffic, protected bike lanes get more people in the saddle - burning calories, clearing minds, and strengthening hearts and lungs. As companies scramble to lower health care costs, employees who benefit from the gentle exercise of pedaling to work help boost overall hourly productivity and cut bills. 
  4. Increasing retail visibility and sales volume - In growing urban communities, protected bike lane networks encourage more people to ride bikes for everyday trips. And when people use bikes for errands, they're the ideal kind of retail customers: regulars. They stop by often and spend as much or more per month as people who arrive in cars. Plus, ten customers who arrive by bike fit in the parking space of one customer who arrives by car. 

For more information, visit the Alliance for Walking and Biking.

Protected intersections for bicyclists

Protected Intersections For Bicyclists  


For more information, visit Protected Intersections for Bicyclists.

Bicycle myths debunked   

Bicyclist shadown on Bayshore Boulevard photo by David Lee Thompson  

In a recent blog post, People for Bikes took a look at six common bicycle myths, and why they are not true. Check out the following Bike Myths Debunked:
  1. MYTH: Bicyclists don't help pay for the roads they use 
  2. MYTH: Roads were created for cars
  3. MYTH: Riders are safest on the sidewalk
  4. MYTH: You can't get a decent bike for less than a gazillion dollars
  5. MYTH: Bicyclists think they own the road
  6. MYTH: Bikes are just kids' toys

In This Issue
Safety reminder!
Fletcher Ave safety
Platt St resurfacing
US41 bike lanes & sidewalks
National Bike Month
TIA Runway 5K raises 60K
Bicycle Bash 2014
8 facts about walking & biking
Protected bike lanes
Protected intersections
Bike myths debunked



Livable Roadways: 9:00 am

(view full LRC calendar


May 21, 2014

June 18, 2014

July 16, 2014 


BPAC : 5:30 pm

(view full BPAC calendar


May 14, 2014

June 11, 2014 

July 9, 2014 


18th Floor Boardroom 

601 E Kennedy Boulevard

Tampa, FL 33602




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