Issue: 17        

May 2015    

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

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


Selmon Greenway celebrates with ribbon-cutting and Jane's Walk 

Join the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) for a ribbon-cutting of Phase One of the Selmon Greenway. The ceremony is on Saturday, May 2 at 10:30a in the park underneath the Selmon Expressway at the intersection of Borein and Franklin Streets. The ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the opening of the first phase of the 1.7 mile, 15 foot wide multi-use trail located within and adjacent to the Selmon Expressway.  
A trailblazing concept in urban recreation, the new Selmon Greenway provides an important walk-bike connection between Ybor City and the Riverwalk. Funded by a USDOT TIGER Grant, the greenway implement a 2010 MPO feasibility study and reflects the collaboration of THEA, the City of Tampa, and the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

Following the ribbon-cutting, a portion of the Selmon Greenway will be highlighted during a Jane's Walk, a guided conversational walk honoring the legacy of urbanist and activist Jane Jacobs. A number of cities each year host such walks to re-familiarize residents with their own communities and neighborhoods. Get to know your greenway by meeting up at the intersection of Tampa's Riverwalk and the Selmon Greenway at 11:00a.


Next steps include pocket parks and other amenities along the greenway, as partners and funds become available.  Find out more at

 the May 20 Livable Roadway Committee meeting. The ribbon-cutting and Jane's Walk are part of the weekend activities scheduled for Tampa's RiverFest.

MPO seeks input on Tampa-Hillsborough Greenways & Trails Plan update

Share which trails you use, what links are important, and more. Take the MPO Trails Spring 2015 survey 


This spring the MPO launched an update and integration of the trails and greenways plans in City of Tampa and Hillsborough County. For 20 years the Hillsborough Greenways Master Plan has served as the guiding document in identifying greenway and trail opportunities throughout the County. In 2001, the City of Tampa adopted the Tampa Greenways and Trails Master Plan as the guide for trails throughout the City. While the Plan has been subsequently amended to list additional projects; for the most part it has remained unchanged for the past 14 years. Both of these plans have been proven successful in developing a more complete system throughout the City and County.


Recently completed trails include the Courtney Campbell Trail, a new segment of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, Tampa Riverwalk, and the Selmon Greenway (see article above). Popularity is not limited to Hillsborough County, at the regional and state-level trail projects like the Coast-to-Coast Trail are being funded. There is an evolving understanding that a well-connected network of trails provides transportation alternatives, boosts quality of life, and supports a thriving economy, resulting in increased interest in further development and integration of greenways, trails, and multi-use non-motorized transportation networks throughout Hillsborough County and the Tampa Bay region. 


The Tampa-Hillsborough Greenways and Trails Plan Update has two major objectives: 
  1. Update the County's Greenways Master Plan by integrating recent pedestrian, bicycle, and multi-use trail projects and initiatives into the Plan.
  2. Identify opportunities to improve the region's multimodal networks providing further trail connections to Pasco, Manatee, and Polk counties.

For further information contact Michele Ogilvie at 813.273.3774 x317 or 

How walkable is your neighborhood?

After a successful initial event last year, the Partners in Obesity Prevention coalition is once again sponsoring Walkability Tampa Bay 2015. This unique event encourages people who actually live in a neighborhood to provide feedback on the walkability of their own neighborhood.


What is Walkability? 

Walkability is the measure of how friendly an area is for walking. Of course, this also includes other activities like biking, skating, and jogging. Walking and being active offer benefits for everyone - improve fitness, reach or maintain a healthy weight, reduce risks for certain health problems,
enjoy the outdoors, or build a sense of community. Walking in your neighborhood should be safe and easy for people of all ages and abilities.

More benefits of a highly walkable neighborhood:
  • Healthier residents
  • Improved community safety
  • Decreased crime
  • Increased community pride
  • More social connections 
  • Higher property values
Encourage all your neighbors to participate, so your entire neighborhood can be involved. A checklist (will be posted at link on May 1st) of things to observe along your walks will be available throughout the month of May with factors for rating like:
  • Do you have room to walk?
  • Was it easy to cross the street?
  • Were the drivers courteous to pedestrians?
  • Was your walk pleasant?
Where does the checklist information go?

The checklist information will be evaluated by the Florida Department of Health and the Center for Urban Transportation at University of South Florida, which will create a report for city and county officials use as a reference for future planning. Additionally the data will be provided to the MPO, Hillsborough County government, and the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City. The results will also be posted for the public online by August 2015. View the 2014 final report


Because you live in your neighborhood, your opinion is valuable! We hope you will participate and strongly encourage your friends, neighbors, family, and neighborhood associations to complete a checklist.  This is a fantastic chance to let our policy and decision makers know what is going on in your neighborhood. You have from May 1 through June 1 to provide your opinions and MAKE A DIFFERENCE in your community!

Local activities celebrating National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling - and encourage more folks to giving biking a try. Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment; or simply to explore your community, bike month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons to ride.


Locally, there are many offerings for just about every type of bicycle rider. Here are a few things you won't want to miss:


May 2-3
Tampa RiverFest
May 11-15
Bike to Work Week
May 17
Temple Terrace
1st Cyclovia
May 17
Temple Terrace
History Bike Tour


Several BikeSmart classes will be offered to various community groups and businesses and are available upon request. Tampa's Downtown will unveil the initial results of their Bicycle Friendly Business program (see also BFB article below). Local bike month (and all year!) organizers include the Tampa Downtown Partnership, New North Tampa Transportation Alliance, FDOT, Alert Today Florida, Florida Bicycle Association, and the SPOKESpeople for all things cycling, Tampa Bay Cycle, where you can find a calendar of events that will be updated throughout Bike Month. 

Cyclists ready to roll on Tampa's first separated, green bike lane


The City of Tampa recently completed its first separated, green bike lane along Platt Street in South Tampa. The design is the first of its kind in Tampa, and motorists are encouraged to use caution while becoming familiar with the new design. The new bike lane runs from Armenia Avenue to Bayshore Boulevard and is separated from vehicle travel lanes. As the bike lane approaches major intersections, it's painted green to get attention and help prevent accidents between drivers turning right and cyclists going straight. 


Over half of all bicycle crashes occur when the cyclist is riding the wrong way - against traffic.By installing designated bicycle lanes along Platt Street that show the direction the cyclist is supposed to travel and where the cyclist should be in relation to traffic, safety is greatly improved.


"The new buffered, green bike lane is the first of its kind in Tampa although we will be adding a similar design along nearby Cleveland Street soon. My hope is that the new cycling infrastructure can become a model for how we redesign our streets," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "Our streets and roadways need to serve all their users, including cyclists and pedestrians." 


At a cost of $1.4 million, Platt Street's new cycling infrastructure is part of an overall traffic calming project implementing many recommendations from the MPO Bicycle Safety Action Plan, including the addition of on-street parking, redcued lane widths, and reduced speed. Reducing speed increases safety exponentially when you consider a pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling at 30 mph has an 80% survival rate, while a pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling at 40 mph faces only a 30% survival rate.


Motorists are urged to use caution when traveling through the area as they get accustomed to the new design. Motorists should not use the separated area and bike lane as a third travel lane (as in the photo above).


Cleveland Street, north of Platt Street, is undergoing a similar renovation with the addition of similar cycling infrastructure, new street lighting, and on street parking. In addition, the City of Tampa is also repairing existing utilities and drainage along Cleveland Street.

Riverwalk celebrates new Kennedy Plaza

The current, and several previous Mayors of Tampa, attended the grand opening of the Kennedy Boulevard Plaza segment of the Tampa Riverwalk on March 27 at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. "The Riverwalk has been in the making for 40 years, and it has taken the efforts of six mayors to be completed. Its construction represents the importance of the Hillsborough River as our best natural asset," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn."  Spanning 1460 feet of water on the eastern side of the Hillsborough River, running underneath the Kennedy Boulevard Bridge, the segment links MacDill Park to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, and provides pedestrians and cyclists 1.8 miles of continuous, completed Riverwalk.


The total project cost for the Kennedy segment is $9.2 million, which was partially paid for by a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) IV grant awarded to the City of Tampa in June 2012 by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The TIGER grant will also go toward constructing the Doyle Carlton Segment of the Tampa Riverwalk as well as the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Selmon Greenway. The City of Tampa recently received the permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allowing construction to begin on the Doyle Carlton Segment of the Tampa Riverwalk in Summer 2015 with completion in Summer 2016.

HART 's Bike and Bus Combo means a healthier commute!

May is National Bike Month and HART makes riding the bus with a bicycle a breeze. HART is encouraging regular riders and those who might want to try transit to also try combining their bike with transit as a viable commuter option. The agency actively supports linking bicycles and transit by providing bus racks on buses throughout our service area.


Also, HART permits folded bikes in carrying bags aboard all HART buses and HARTFlex vans. Users of bicycles with larger wheels should continue using the bicycle rack. Each HART bus and HARTFlex van accommodates two bicycles. Plus, the HART Bikes on Buses program enables riders to take their bikes with them and transfer from a HART bus to a PSTA bus without a special permit.


"Cycling is a fun and healthy way for people to get around Tampa, and it can really help with what we call 'first and last mile' challenges for people who'd like to take transit but find stops or stations a little far away from their destinations," said HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. "Bicyclists can combine their bicycle use with our rail and bus service to travel even further."


Here are some quick HART Bikes on Buses program facts:

  • HART logged about 500,000 bicycle boardings in the past two years. May kicks off the busiest cycling season, and between now and October HART will average 20,000 bike boardings per month.
  • Combining two modes of carbon-reducing transportation reduces the impact on the shared environment while also greatly increasing one's range of travel.
  • Avoid the expense of parking a vehicle while getting more healthy exercise, and leave the driving to HART while bringing bicycles along for the ride.
  • There are dozens of free bike racks throughout the HART transit system, too, conveniently located at many of its bus shelters as well as at some of its Park-n-Ride facilities.

HART works hard to promote the growth in cycling around Tampa and seek proactive, long-term solutions to accommodate a growing market of transit users who travel by bike. Bicycle friendly transit provides cyclists with increased options to travel, and it also expands transit ridership. For more information about the HART Bikes on Buses program or other HART information, visit

BFBTampa pursues Bicycle Friendly Business District

The Tampa Downtown Partnership has been working on establishing a Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) District in the downtown. The City of Tampa has been building a number of bicycle facilities in and around the downtown. Bikes are good for businesses and their employees. Through the BFB program, employers are recognized for their efforts to encourage a more welcoming atmosphere for employees, customers, and the entire bicycle riding community. The cultivation of a bicycle friendly district encourages businesses to welcome patrons on bicycles, builds community, increases physical activity, and makes streets less congested.


Just in time for the National Bike Month of May, the Tampa Downtown Partnership will complete Phase I of its Bicycle Friendly Business Certification program. The initiative has been a collaborative effort with City of Tampa, Florida Department of Transportation, Pedal Power Promoters and the League of American Bicyclists. The team is confident that enough applications have been submitted to achieve the goal of certifying a dozen or more businesses locally, with many of them poised to receive the League's national recognition later in the year. A list of certified businesses and their respective discounts or value-adds for the pedaling population will be released to the public shortly.


For more information on how your business can become a BFB, check out the TampaBayCycle for an application.

Tampa bike-share program teaching 'share the road' lessons

Numbers are one way Coast Bike Share measures success: 100 days into Tampa's new, downtown bike-sharing operation, ridership has exceeded expectations with 3,000 participants and 20,000 miles pedaled. "Another

measure of success for the city is the way the program is creating a bicycle-friendly atmosphere," said Ali Glisson, the city's public affairs director. "Bike share does something important for the city by just putting cyclists out on the road."


Tampa and the region get low marks for bicycle safety and infrastructure in survey after survey. A new stretch of the Riverwalk opening Friday as well as the bike-share program are designed to improve on safety for riders downtown and beyond."A lot of it is just now getting bikers familiar with bikers," said Eric Trull, program director for Cyclehop, the company operating Tampa's Coastal Bike Shares venture.


With so many bicyclists embracing the new program, motorists are learning more about how to share the road, Trull said. Cyclist safety is also a priority in the design of city transportation projects, including the expansion of Cass Street into two-way travel downtown, Glisson said. Bicycle lanes will be included. "One of the things we've noticed is that there is no good east-to-west travel for cyclists," Glisson said.  


Each Coastal Bike Share cycle has a GPS system that allows Cyclehop to track a rider's trip. This has shown that hubs popular with pedestrian traffic, such as Hyde Park and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, are also popular with cyclists.In announcing the new numbers, Coast Bike Share noted that it has logged nearly 10,000 more miles pedaled than a similar program launched around the same time - Grid Share, in the much larger city of Phoenix.


The Tampa numbers put the operation on the road to profitability. Any losses are absorbved by the operator. "Our contract with the city specifically states that there is no taxpayer dollars involved," Trull said. Cyclehop considers the bike share program a long-term investment in the city. "The biggest thing is just how well Coast has done with how the community has embraced it," Glisson said.  


Payment options for those using the bike-share program include per-ride and annual subscription. About 91 percent of the people using the system do so on a per-ride basis. But measured by miles traveled, annual members account for about 25 percent. "I see locals and visitors alike out on the blue bikes all the time," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said in a news release, "and it's great because it gives them a new way to enjoy their city." 

Trails and paddling input needed for the Florida Greenways and Trails Plan


The Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS) Plan establishes the vision for implementing a connected statewide system of greenways and trails for recreation, conservation, alternative transportation, healthy lifestyles, a vibrant economy, and a high quality of life. The original FGTS Plan was completed in 1998 and adopted by the Florida Legislature in 1999, laying the groundwork for many programs, projects and initiatives that exist today.  The FGTS Plan and the visioning maps (Opportunity Maps) which accompany the Plan were last updated in 2012.


The Opportunity Maps are being updated in 2015. To begin the update process, the Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT) is reaching out to you and others involved in trail planning to receive input on both the Land Trail Opportunity Map and the Paddling Trail Opportunity Map. Both are intended to identify opportunity corridors of statewide and regional significance. 


For each 2012 opportunity corridor in your area, OGT needs to verify the corridor's alignment and a determination as to whether the corridor should be kept, modified, or deleted. Additionally, the OGT would like to obtain information as to the status of each corridor (existing, planned, conceptual, funded, under construction, etc.).


Use the tools on the 2015 FGTS Update page, to look at interactive Opportunity Maps, view the 2012 Land Trail and Paddling map books.  

Look at the Opportunity Maps interactively, and download shape files or KML files.


Please provide your updates as soon as possible, but no later than June 1, 2015. The OGT would like to incorporate your recommended changes to the Draft 2015 Opportunity Maps that will be presented at public workshops around the state in the Fall of 2015. For more information, call

Christine Small at 850.245.2939.
In This Issue
New Selmon Greenway
MPO seeks input on trails
How walkable is your neighborhood?
National Bike Month
New green bike lane
Riverwalk Kennedy Plaza
HART Bike & Bus
Bicycle Friendly Business
Coast Bike Share
State needs Greenways & Trails input