Issue: 14       

August 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!

What BPAC did on its Summer vacation   


Taking a "break" from formality for the month of July, members of the BPAC gathered at the Independent in Seminole Heights and did a bit of team building as they set an action agenda for themselves over the next 12 months. Fifteen members of the BPAC and 3 guests shared the following:


Some memorable quotes:


  • A vision for bicycling in our community: "For folks to mention Tampa, Orlando and Miami as they do Portland, Asheville and Austin today"  
  • One current reality that could be changed: "to not have my heart skip a beat when my child tells me he rode to Gamestop"


The BPAC then decided that over the next year to work on the following projects:


  1. A Cyclovia in Spring 2015. (A Cyclovia is a "cycle way" that is either a permanent bike way or a temporary closing to allow bicyclists and pedestrian to enjoy a car-free street.)
  2. Continuing to sponsor the Annual Children's Gasparilla Bike Rodeo
  3. A Bike Friendly business designation

The next BPAC meeting will be held on August 13, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. on the 26th Floor of County Center at 601 E Kennedy Boulevard. Please join us! 


For more information, contact Michele Ogilvie.

One trail to connect 20 Tampa neighborhoods    


More great coverage of a project near and dear to our heart, the Green ARTery, a 20+ mile multi-use trail, will offer connections for people who walk, bicycle, jog or skate between major parks and 20 different Tampa neighborhoods.To read the article and view the video by Leigh Spann, visit

Imagine 2040 launch event   
Imagine 2040 : Part 2
Imagine 2040 : Part 2
In case you missed it, here is a little bit of what happened at our Imagine 2040 launch event held on July 10th at Tampa Bay Grand Prix. Thank you to our BPAC for providing a bike valet for this event!

Take the Imagine 2040 : Part 2 survey by August 25 to get a free ticket to Florida's Largest Home Show on Labor Day Weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds!

Invision Tampa projects moving forward 


The City of Tampa is forging ahead with Invision Tampa plan. In May and June, more than 200 people attended workshops to discuss the future of Julian B Lane Riverfront Park, located just across the Hillsborough River from downtown Tampa. One concept under discussion is re-aligning Laurel Street further north along I-275 to make more room for recreational space within the park. The master plan for the new and improved Julian B Lane Riverfront Park wraps up this Fall, with another public workshop scheduled for September 9. Design and reconstruction will follow the planning phase. 


In 2011, the City of Tampa began creating a master plan for Tampa's Center City, spanning from downtown to Ybor City on the east, Armenia Avenue on the west and north along historic Nebraska Avenue to Hillsborough Avenue.  The City walked, talked, photographed, mapped and - most importantly - listened to residents about the nuances of their neighborhood, as well as the things that matter to them and their families now and in our future. In November 2012, the Center City Plan was unveiled.  


From the completion of the Tampa Riverwalk, to the restoration of the Federal Courthouse, the evolution of Encore, and the construction of downtown residential towers, the Center City plan is actively shaping the future of downtown. More recommendations are in the works.  


Next up is the West River Redevelopment Planfocusing on a 120-acre area bounded by Rome Avenue, Columbus Avenue, the Hillsborough River and Interstate-275.  The plan recommends reconnecting the streets and blocks to each other, strong ties with public education and community services, a keen focus on linkages along the Hillsborough River.


For more information, contact


Tampa receives Honorable Mention as Bicycle Friendly Community  


In May, the League of American Bicyclists gave Tampa an Honorable Mention in its Bicycle Friendly America (BFA) program. The program provides a roadmap, hands-on assistance and recognition for states, communities, universities and businesses. The BFA program is a tool to make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option for all people.

But the BFA program is more than an assessment:
  • It's a study into the DNA making bicycling safe and more comfortable for all people
  • It's the combined knowledge of hundreds of engineers, government officials and bicycle advocates.
  • It's a toolkit of projects, policies, programs and plans designed to make biking better.
  • It's a roadmap for improving conditions for bicycling and the direct assistance to make it happen.
The Honorable Mention means that with a few strategic improvements, Tampa is in a good position to earn Bicycle Friendly community award in the future.

Coast Bike Share Now Accepting Memberships  


As of July 7th, Coast Bike Share, which is set to launch in late August, began accepting memberships. Become a founding member and get 30 more minutes per day of ride time. Coast Bike Share will enable short, quick trips in and around downtown with 300 bikes at 30 locations. "Coming Soon" signs have been placed around Downtown, Ybor, City, and Hyde Park.


Follow @CoastBikes on twitter and go with the flow on Facebook.


Cyclists Hold 4th Annual Ride of Silence   


By Mitch Perry, courtesy of Creative Loafing

Photo Courtesy of Jose Menendez 

Article posted on May 22, 2014  


On Wednesday night (May 21st) in Tampa, approximately 65 bicyclists met up at Curtis Hixon Park, joining cyclists around the world in observing the annual Ride to Silence. The ride honors bicyclists who've been killed or injured in traffic crashes and raises awareness about bike safety.


Before the cyclists took off on their police-escorted ride through downtown, they held a moment of silence to honor riders killed over the past year in Hillsborough County. They were: John Thompson, 47; Freddie Alonso, 44; Robert Policastro, 60; Michael Lee, 29; Christopher Goddard, 22; Daniel Hernandez, 59; Rudolph Moncur, 59; Anthony Del Favero, 47; Antonio Leon, 56; Carmen Pando, 26; Anthony Greene, 16; and Quinton Davis, 19.

"If we get eight more before this year's over it will be 200 dead bicyclists on the roads of this county in just over 21 years," organizer Jose Menendez told the riders as they gathered in the park. Holding up a list of the names of 44 bicyclists who have been killed in Hillsborough County since 2010, he said, "This list is what this ride is all about. Not only to remember the men, women and children on it - but to hopefully prevent more names from winding up on it."  


The ride came on the heels of a new report issued this week that named the Tampa Bay area region the country's second most dangerous in the country when it comes to pedestrian deaths, trailing only Orlando.


"The fact is, all of those high-risk areas are Sunbelt states and they're areas that grew up with the automobile," said Jim Shirk, a major advocate for cycling in Tampa. "The only way to solve this problem is to begin working on infrastructure - to make it more bicycle/pedestrian friendly, and to work on enforcement and education and evaluation - because if you don't measure you don't manage."


Gandy Boulevard area cyclist Jim Harper says he does feel safe riding his bike in Tampa, but only because he avoids routes that involve too much vehicle traffic. "I'm afraid of cars when I'm on a bike," he admits. He gets up daily at around 5 a.m. and rides to Ballast Point Park when there are virtually no cars on the road.


Tampa City Council member Lisa Montelione spoke briefly to the cyclists before they embarked on their journey on Wednesday night. She praised City of Tampa staffers for doing all they could to be proactive, but said the way she can influence the discussion is through her role as vice chair of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Organization (MPO), and more specifically as chair of the Livable Roadways Committee of the MPO. That's because many of the most dangerous roads in the city are run by the state, not the city, and therefore can only be addressed by the state Department of Transportation (FDOT), which lately has been hosting so-called "safety summits" to address the problem with pedestrian safety. "When projects come up at MPO, I can advocate for things I've learned in these safety summits," Montelione says.


She says education is also a key element for both residents and visitors who walk and bike on Tampa roads. 

And in this morning's Tampa Tribune, Hillsborough County Commission Chair Mark Sharpe writes about a number of projects that the County is embarking on to address pedestrian and bicyclist safety, including an $8.5 million bike and pedestrian safety program.

My City Bikes app provides free maps, routes    


My City Bikes is a public health project to benefit communities across the United States and Canada by providing a simple mobile resource to encourage cycling. Whether for fun, fitness or transportation, My City Bikes serves as a definitive guide to each participating community's cycling opportunities. Local bike shops in cities across North America are bringing My City Bikes to their home towns to empower individuals to improve their physical and environmental health by simply pedaling a bike.

University Bicycle Center and Citrus Park Cyclery have partnered with My City Bikes to provide the app to the local community that contains local bike trails, route charting and maintenance tips.

Download the Tampa version of the app for Android and iOS.

For more info and to download versions for other cities visit

Democracy, roll-with-it-style     


Article and photo courtesy of Rachel Walker at 


There's something liberating about conversations conducted on a bike. Maybe it's the forward motion. Maybe it's the immersion in the world around you. Whatever the impetus, words flow and connections are made when two people pedal together.


Add in about 198 more people and a politician, and something even more remarkable happens: Boundaries fall, grievances are aired, compliments are given, and the mechanisms of democracy take hold. That's been the case in Fort Worth, TX, since 2012, when Mayor Betsy Price launched short bike rides open to the public, or "rolling town halls."


The first rolling town hall of 2014 took place in early April and attracted about 200 people. Mayor Price led the seven-mile ride through several neighborhoods, listening to residents along the way.


In addition to discussing typical city issues, the group talked about trails, how to make Fort Worth more bike-friendly, and how to motivate residents to adopt healthier lifestyles, according to news reports.


"Getting people to be more active and engaged is a big part of what we do here in Fort Worth, and our rolling town halls help us do both," said Mayor Price. "It gets people out on their bikes and embracing the active lifestyle that promotes better health and gets them thinking about their community's needs and how they can be a part of the solution."


The rolling town halls highlight an initiative to build more bike trails in Fort Worth. That initiative will ask voters on May 10 to approve a bond program to allocate $1.26 million for bicycle infrastructure. This would include funding trails and supporting initiatives in the comprehensive Bike Fort Worth plan, which was approved in 2009.


The plan calls for increasing ridership in Fort Worth, improving bike safety, expanding bike trails and paths and gaining national recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Community by 2015.


During the first year of the rides, Mayor Price led more than 50 outings. In 2013, she switched the rolling town halls to a semi-monthly format and has now led about 100 rides in all. The rides take place between April and October. Not only do residents have the opportunity to voice concerns about city issues, they also get to take place in a community-building event.

The community rides travel at a slow, easy pace, with a city rider bringing up the rear to make sure no one falls behind. At the end, food trucks meet the hungry riders.


"Plus, the truth is," said Mayor Price, "when you get out of your suit and into your spandex, it's amazing how much more people will open up to you."


Visit for more information.


Amtrak to begin welcoming bikes     


Article and photo courtesy of Amtrak

On June 17th Amtrak announced the testing phase for roll-on bicycle storage on its new baggage cars. No more bike boxes!

During  field testing, the baggage cars will travel to Chicago, New Orleans, Miami and along the Northeast Corridor to undergo testing for speed, stability, braking and baggage handling.


Amtrak riders enjoy the convenience of seamless intercity travel and Amtrak get that. Their investment in new long distance equipment is in response to those exact needs. By the end of 2016, long distance routes will see the addition of new diner, sleeper and bag-dorm cars, making for a more modernized travel experience for our riders.


"It's clear that Americans want a national system of intercity passenger rail and Amtrak is moving ahead to build new equipment to meet customer demand," said Amtrak President and CEO, Joe Boardman.


The new baggage cars will be used on all 15 long-distance routes, which means the benefits of improved reliability and an enhanced climate-control environment for baggage will be available to long distance customers by the end of 2014 . Also, the new cars will be equipped with built-in luggage racks that will be able to secure unboxed bicycles (hooray!).


Amtrak is excited for this next phase of the new equipment journey into revenue service and hopes you are too. Check back this summer for more news, photos and information on the new long distance equipment.


For more information, visit the Amtrak blog.


7 big ways cities have transformed themselves for bicycles      


Check it out on GIZMODO!

In This Issue
Safety reminder!
BPAC's Summer Vaction
Green Artery
Imagine 2040
Invision Tampa
Bicycle Friendly Community
Coast Bike Share
Ride of Silence
My City Bikes app
Bicycle democracy
Bikes on trains
7 big bicycle ideas

Upcoming Event


Fletcher Ave Complete Streets Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening 


10:00 am


August 14, 2014

22nd St & Fletcher Ave  



Upcoming Meetings


Livable Roadways: 9:00 am

(view full LRC calendar


August 20, 2014

September 17, 2014

October 15, 2014 


BPAC : 5:30 pm

(view full BPAC calendar


August 13, 2014

September 10, 2014 

October 8, 2014 




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