Issue: 16        

February 2015    

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

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


MPO, County & Tampa collaborate to redesign Columbus Drive corridor        


The MPO, City of Tampa, and Hillsborough County came together to study the potential reconfiguration of the one-way pairs of Columbus Drive and 17th/18th/19th Avenues (between 14th and 40th Street) to two-way traffic, at the request of citizens and business owners in the area.


At a workshop held last September, the public said loud and clear that the two-way configuration should be studied to help reduce speeding, eliminate wrong-way driving, provide on-street parking, and give an economic boost to local businesses. A traffic analysis showed that there will be little or no difference in travel time on either road if changed to two-way. Cost estimates were prepared for resurfacing and striping the roads, putting up new traffic signals and signs, decorative lighting, and landscaping.




Last month, there was another great turn-out of residents and businesspeople at a second public meeting about the draft recommendations. Many in the neighborhood supported the study and are interested in seeing the recommendations move forward.  


A first phase of work is slated for next year, when Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa will work together to add on-street parking while the roads are resurfaced. Though the roads will continue to be one-way, some lanes will shift, and as a result, painting a solid centerline should be relatively easy when additional funding is identified for new traffic signals.


For more information, visit the Columbus Drive Corridor Redesign project page or contact Gena Torres at 813/273-3774 x357 or A big thank you to Academy Prep for hosting the public meetings!

Imagine 2040 receives Innovation Award
Imagine 2040 MetroQuest tool    

The 14th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland last week featured practical tools and innovative strategies for creating great communities.At this event, the Open Planning Tools Group (OPTG) announced the winners of the 2nd Annual Innovation Awards


Imagine 2040 received the Exemplary Implementation Award, recognizing a planning process or project that utilized planning tools in an innovative manner to create effective public engagement or improved analysis supporting the resolution of a significant challenge. Working in partnership with the Hillsborough MPO, the Planning Commission, Jacobs Engineering, and MetroQuest helped engage citizens and businesses online, in workshops, and at touchscreen kiosks in the creation of a vision for 2040 to guide growth and development in Hillsborough County. The visual and educational software collected input on planning alternatives from nearly 6,000 participants. The resulting vision represents a turning point for the region, calling for smart growth and powerful synergies between land use and transportation. 

The OPTG hosts an annual symposium that draws innovators from around the country, as well as monthly calls, a web site, and reports such as the 2012 Advancing Scenario Planning Tools Policy Focus Report from the Lincoln Institute. Through this group, tools are becoming more open, accessible, and effective, leading to more informed decisions for the communities that use them.

FDOT District 7 awards safety project grants

In 2014, Hillsborough County, Tampa and Plant City were the proud recipients of several grants to improve traffic safety.


Plant City received $43,000 for traffic signals and signs. 


The City of Tampa received:

  • $200,000 for a Himes Avenue project to add turn lanes, bike lanes and a separator island
  • $300,000 for a 34th Street project to reduce speeding and add roundabouts

Hillsborough County received:

  • $468,000 to re-adjust the timing of the traffic signals on the Bloomingdale, Boyette, and Fishhawk corridors
  • $398,000 for audible vibratory pavement markings -- which alert drivers when they stray outside of lanes -- on Knights Griffin Road and Race Track Road
  • $125,000 for various signs and traffic signals

 For more information, contact Gena Torres at 813/273-3774 x357. 

InVision Tampa becoming reality with Cass / Tyler two-way conversion

The City of Tampa's East Cass & East Tyler project consists of converting East Cass Street and East Tyler Street from one-way streets into two-way streets. In addition, a barrier-separated cycle track will be added along East Cass Street to Nebraska Avenue.  


Once complete, the converted two-way East Cass Street and East Tyler Street will help restore the street grid in downtown, improve local access, and transform Cass Street into a central spine as outlined in the Invision Tampa Center City Plan. Total cost for the two-way conversion and cycle track is $9.86 million with funding coming from the Local Option Gas Tax for design and Commercial Paper Program for construction.


You can stay up to date on the projects by visiting Questions or comments should be directed to the UCAP hotline at 813/777-9222.

Fletcher Ave becomes a "complete street"

On January 27th, Hillsborough County celebrated the completion of the Fletcher Avenue Complete Streets Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Improvements. A crowd of state and local officials, engineers, planners, students, and citizens heard remarks from County Commissioners Kevin Beckner and Victor Crist, as well as Sheriff's Major James Burton and FDOT District Safety Engineer Ron Chin. USF cheerleaders and mascot Rocky also made appearances. 


On a typical day, 1,400 people cross Fletcher Ave. The $5 million Complete Streets project re-engineered an area of high pedestrian use on Fletcher between Nebraska Ave and 50th St to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The project was completed with the help of $3 million in Federal Highway Administration safety funds through the Florida Department of Transportation.


Safety improvements Ave included:

  • five mid-block pedestrian crossings, incorporating first-of-its-kind overhead warning beacon installations
  • one mid-block pedestrian crossing with a traffic signal
  • raised concrete pedestrian refuge islands
  • raised concrete traffic separators
  • energy efficient LED street lighting in the medians


The project also installed additional sidewalks near the University of South Florida, upgraded handicap access ramps at crossings and intersections, and reduced the speed limit to 35 miles per hour. An additional mile and a half of marked bicycle lanes also created a 3-mile continuous segment along Fletcher Avenue between Nebraska Avenue and 50th Street.


More information on the Fletcher Avenue Complete Streets project is available at 

2015 Gasparilla Children's Bike Safety Rodeo

Our BPAC once again teamed up with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) for our annual Children's Gasparilla Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Rodeo held on Saturday, January 24. At the rodeo, volunteers of the BPAC, HCSO, and Safe Kids fitted approximately 200 children with bicycle helmets and taught the little ones and their parents the safety rules of the road on fun safety courses.  Helmets were provided by the St. Joseph's Children's Hospiyal Advocacy Center. 

FDOT to install new crosswalk on MLK Jr Blvd     


Above: concept rendering of the soon-to-be-installed crosswalk


The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is planning to install a new pedestrian crosswalk along West Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (SR 574), between MacDill Ave and Gomez Ave in Tampa. Many people are crossing this busy road to access St Joseph's Hospital and medical facilities on both sides, along with stores, eateries and bus stops.


The new crosswalk will be located away from the existing traffic signals, and will be equipped with push-button activated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB), a pedestrian refuge area in the existing landscaped median, as well as crosswalk signing and high-visibility pavement markings. Construction is expected to begin soon and will be completed before the end of Spring 2015. 


WalkWise Tampa Bay will be visiting St. Joseph's Hospital to explain how to use the new pedestrian crosswalk and RRFB system as well as to spread pedestrian safety tips. For more information about this project contact Stephen Benson at or 813/975-6255. 

Bikes (and feet!) across Tampa Bay

On Tuesday, January 13, the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Commitees of Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties met jointly at the City of Oldsmar. About thirty volunteers and advocates gathered to discuss  a broad range of topics including the completion of the Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail and other opportunities for regional trail connections.


The committees agreed to work together on joint activities for Florida Bike Month in March, as well as an event to celebrate National Trail Day on June 6. Members agreed to meet again in June and to extend an invitation to the Pasco County Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee too.  For more information, please contact Michele Ogilvie at 813/273-3774 x317. 

USDOT Sec. Foxx launches the "Mayors' Challenge for Safer People & Streets"

On January 22, 2015 Secretary Foxx announced the Mayor's Challenge as part of his Safer People, Safer Streets initiative. The Mayor's Challenge is open to all cities and towns. It calls on local elected officials to make a commitment to improving pedestrian and bicycle safety over the next year. It encourages broader use of existing tools and resources, showcases effective local actions to improve safety, and promotes partnerships to advance pedestrian and bicycle safety

View more information on the Mayor's Challenge.

Local Ride with Mayor Chillura

Date:       Friday, March 20, 2015 

Time:       7:30 a.m. 

Location: Temple Terrace Family Recreation Complex

               6610 Whiteway Drive, Temple Terrace, FL 33617

Temple Terrace Mayor Frank Chillura will lead riders on a leisurely 3-mile ride along the winding streets of beautiful Temple Terrace, starting and ending at the Family Recreation Complex. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. with sign-in, light refreshments, free bicycle lights, and other safety information. The ride will start at around 8 a.m. Just bring your bicycle and join the fun. The first 100 riders to arrive will receive a free event T-shirt. This adult bicycle ride celebrates bicycling as a mode of transportation, and for fitness and health. This event is sponsored by the City of Temple Terrace, Tampa BayCycle, and New North Transportation Alliance at CUTR. 


Let them know you're coming on their Facebook event page!

Florida now home to two U.S. bicycle routes

On November 20, 2014 the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials approved U.S Bicycle Route 1 and U.S. Bicycle Route 90 in Florida.

U.S. Bicycle Route 1 follows Florida's Atlantic coast from Key West to Jacksonville, where it ends at the Georgia State Line. Much of USBR 1 follows the East Coast Greenway and Adventure Cycling Association's Atlantic Coast Route. The route includes many scenic beaches and intersects cities and towns along the way.


Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad commented, "We're very pleased that Florida now joins other states in establishing U.S. Bicycle Routes. Milepost 0 in Key West will now be the starting point for U.S. Bicycle Route 1 as it is for U.S. Highway 1. The Sunshine State invites cyclists to enjoy our great state."


U.S. Bicycle Route 90 is an east-west route that connects the Alabama border to Florida's Atlantic Coast in Butler Beach, just south of St Augustine. The route partly follows Adventure Cycling's Southern Tier Route and traverses rural north Florida through pastures, forests, and small towns, with a few "big city" stops in Pensacola and Tallahassee.


Florida DOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said, "Cyclists can now follow USBR 90 across Florida from the coast to Alabama. We'll guarantee to keep the route free from snow year-round and provide plenty of sunshine."


Bicyclists interested in riding U.S. Bicycle Routes in Florida can find maps, turn-by-turn directions and other information on FDOT's U.S Bicycle Routes website. Further information other additions to the nation wide bicycle network can be found on the Adventure Cycling Association's website.

Trail funding: what you can do

Want paved trails as a part of Florida's future? Talk to your local elected officials and state representatives between now and the start of the 2015 legislative session on March 3. Why? Because connecting local, community trails to the state's priority regional trails such as the Coast to Coast and NE Coast Connector is the best way to qualify for the state funds dedicated by the recent passing of the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1).

The Office of Greenways and Trails has estimated that Florida's top 10 regional trails can be completed for about 10% of the Amendment 1 funds over the 20-year life-span of the Amendment. These trails would link most of the population centers of Florida to a vast number of state parks, regional parks and many of Florida's conservation lands. This completed system will not only introduce tourists to these unique areas and promote the economies of rural communities connected to these trails, but also provide year-round enjoyment and safe travels for Florida residents. 

This is an amazing opportunity for Florida trails. Contact your State Senator and State Representative and let them know you want to see state funding for multi-use trails!

In This Issue
Columbus Dr Corridor
Imagine 2040 receives Innovation Award
FDOT safety grants
Cass/Tyler conversion
Fletcher Ave Complete Streets
Gaparilla Bike Safety Rodeo
MLK crosswalk
Joint BPAC meeting
Mayor's Challenge
Ride with Mayor Chillura
US Bike Routes 1 & 90
Trail Funding