Issue 18       


Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) eNews 

October 2015  


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George Jetson, here we come!

We may not have flying space cars, but other advances in technology will be tested right here in Hillsborough County. A "Connected Vehicle" pilot program proposed by the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) has been awarded  $2.4 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for an initial phase. If all goes well, the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) would then receive an additional $14 million to implement the program.
Connected vehicles are designed to make transportation safer, smarter and more energy efficient by outfitting cars, buses, and roadside equipment with technology so they communicate with each other and respond to traffic conditions. THEA's partners include Tampa Transportation and HART.

This technology can't come soon enough considering the Tampa Bay Area's consistent poor ratings in the areas of traffic congestion and severe crashes. 
"We will allow for cars, buses, and roadside equipment with technology so that they can communicate with each other, and with people, for real time adjustments in various traffic conditions," said THEA Executive Director and MPO Board member Joe Waggoner. "Our goal is to improve safety, for vehicles and pedestrians and bicyclists."

Tampa is one of three cities receiving DOT grants to study connected and automated vehicle technology. "This intelligent vehicle industry will eventually be a $35 billion industry here in the United States," said DOT's Peter Rogoff. "And a lot of those jobs and a lot of that activity and a lot of that excitement is going to come right here to Tampa because you are one of the first movers as a result of this contract." He said that the technology had the potential to reduce fatalities by as much as 80 percent.

For more information, contact Sue Chrzan at the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority at 813-272-6740
. Way to go, THEA!

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Airport Master Plan takes shape
The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority has started to make the dust fly as it implements the Master Plan for Tampa International Airport. Before the recession, a previous version of the master plan called for a second terminal to be built close to Hillsborough Avenue. The current plan focuses on maximizing the existing main terminal facilities while still providing the high level of service for which this airport is known.

The plan allows a "build as demand dictates" approach to growth, outlining three phases of expansion to accommodate 35 million passengers each year, more than double the current number of annual passengers. The first phase, which launched last year, takes care of immediate needs and includes:
  • A consolidated rental car center near the long-term parking
  • An automated people mover connecting the main terminal to the new rental car center
  • Transfer level expansion and concessions redevelopment
Projects anticipated in the second phase include:
  • Hotel and service building demolition and replacement
  • Air Traffic Control Tower relocation
  • An employee parking structure 
The longer-term Phase 3 calls for expansion projects:  
  • North of main terminal
  • New international terminal
  • Additions to Airside C
  • New customs & immigration checkpoints
All three phases together are anticipated to generate an impressive 25,000+ jobs. Visit the Airport Master Plan website for more information. 

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The City of Tampa is on the move
If you thought planning documents made great book ends, you haven't been following the City of Tampa's Department of Transportation and Stormwater Services. New bike lanes, sharrows, sidewalks, and complete street projects seem to be popping up all across town as they implement the City's Walk-Bike Plans. Planners are already kicking off Phase 5 of the Tampa Walk-Bike Plan.

The same goes for the exciting Invision Tampa plan. Focused along the Hillsborough River through downtown, communities of connected people and livable neighborhoods are being created.

Also underway right now, is a conversion of the Cass and Tyler Street one-way pair into two-way streets. Inspired by the Indianapolis Cultural Trail pictured above, the design includes a barrier-separated, two-way, cycle track along Cass Street. This new configuration will help restore the street grid in downtown, while providing a safe connection for everyone all the way from the river to the edge of Ybor City. Cass Street will be the central piece of the east-west multi-purpose trail reaching westward to Armenia Avenue and beyond Ybor City to the east.

These investments will position the City as one of the country's most attractive places to open a business, raise a family, and maintain a high quality of life while preserving historic districts and neighborhood character. Questions or comments should be directed to Tampa's UCAP hotline at 813/777-9222 or call Tricia Shuler at 813/281-7717. 

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MPO studies Florida Avenue,
Tampa / Highland Streets
Working closely with the City of Tampa and FDOT, the MPO is evaluating various alternatives for the one-way pair of Florida Avenue (northbound) and Tampa/Highland Street (southbound). The study area is roughly from I-275 to Hillsborough Avenue, serving the historic Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights neighborhoods. The evaluation of the alternatives will consider:
  • Safe access between Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods for transit users, walkers, and cyclists
  • Corridors functioning as a "main street" and commercial district
  • Continuing to function as a regional transportation corridor
  • How well the configurations contribute to the City's public realm
What we've learned so far, looking at the roadways today is that there are fewer people driving than there were 10 years ago. For example, on Florida Avenue south of Palm Avenue, the number of vehicles per day has declined by about 10%. Other observations show that on paper, there are complete sidewalks for almost the entire study area. But when taking a closer look, the conditions are less than ideal for walking and cycling:

Stay tuned for more on this exciting project when three alternatives are identified and an evaluation of each conducted. The study should be wrapped up by the end of December 2015.

For more information contact Gena Torres at 813/273-3774 x 357 and visit the project webpage for updates. 

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School Board Member takes a seat on MPO Board
The MPO is excited to welcome Cindy Stuart as its newest board member representing the School District of Hillsborough County. Transportation is a big issue for Hillsborough County Schools. The District transports 94,000 students on a fleet of 1,400 buses! With other agencies operating major modes of transportation represented on the MPO, it only made sense to include the 8th largest school district in the United States.  
Added as a voting member after signing the amended Interlocal Agreement for the Creation of the MPO in August 2015, the School Board selected Cindy Stuart to represent them. Already doing her homework, she attended several MPO meetings this year. Mrs. Stuart also represents the School Board on the Glazer Children's Museum Board, SERVE, and is an alternate on the Florida School Boards Association Board of Directors, Hillsborough Education Foundation, Juvenile Justice Board, Circuit 13, and the Value Adjustment Board.

At her first official MPO meeting October 6th, Mrs. Stuart thanked the Board members for pushing to add a School Board member, stating "We have a significant interest in transportation in Hillsborough County."  She looks forward to creating partnerships to provide better transportation options for students and the entire community. And we look forward to the educated perspective she will bring to the MPO Board!

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FDOT invitation to innovation
The Florida Department of Transportation(FDOT) continually strives to enhance all areas of its operations. In support of these effo rts, the department recently moved into a bold new era for innovative ideas, research and accelerated implementation. Success will depend on our ability to carefully evaluate or implement the products and services provided to the users of Florida's transportation system. Our goal is to utilize newly developed technology or employ creative thinking to generate greater value for every transportation dollar invested.

Take the transportation innovation challenge! FDOT invites you to share your thoughts on ways we can challenge ourselves to be innovative, efficient, and exceptional. To do so, please use this form.

Questions? Please email:

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Imagine 2040 Wins for Best Practices
Imagine 2040 was honored to receive the American Planning Association's Florida Chapter 2015 Project Award of Merit in the Best Practices category. The award was presented at the opening session of APA Florida's annual conference held in Hollywood, Florida in September. 

Recognized for innovative and state-of-the-art planning methods and practices, Imagine 2040 also incorporated public/private and inter-agency partnerships, user-friendly applications of technology, and fostered greater participation in planning for the future. With nearly 6,000 survey participants, Imagine 2040 garnered the greatest amount of public participation ever achieved by the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization and Planning Commission and has received numerous awards at the regional, state, and national levels. Read more

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Selmon Expressway toll calculator
Want to know how much a ride along the Selmon Expressway will cost you? Try this oh so easy to use toll calculator to know before you go!

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Cool Ideas from other Cities
Over the summer, we came across some great projects in other Florida communities. We're always on the look-out for clever plans, innovative design features, and most importantly, opportunities to do the same thing here. Here is a sampling from our scrapbook.  Send us your favorites and we may add them!

Attractive yet inexpensive crosswalk treatment -
Panama City
Colorful perimeter fencing made from recycled water bottles - Orlando 
The "Underline" 10-mile trail beneath elevated Metrorail - 
Integrated trail and
stormwater retention pond -

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Walk & roll with us at Cyclovia!

ePublications & eNews from our agency are always associated with an email address ending in:


In this Issue
THEA techie news
Airport Master Plan
Cass-Tyler redesign
Florida-Tampa Corridor Study
School Board joins MPO
FDOT innovation challenge
Imagine 2040 awarded
Toll calculator
Cool ideas from other cities
Walk & roll at Cyclovia!

Upcoming Meetings & Events 

MPO Board 
Nov 10, 2015

Oct 9, 2015

Oct 19, 2015

Full MPO calendar   


Tampa Bay Express

I-4 PD&E Study 

Public Hearing 

October 19, 2015 
5p - 7p 
T Pepin's Hospitality Centre
4121 N 50th Street

Tampa Bay Express

I-4 PD&E Study 

Public Hearing 

October 19, 2015 
5p - 7p 
T Pepin's Hospitality Centre
4121 N 50th Street 

FDOT Work Program

Public Hearing 

October 28, 2015 
4p - 6p 
MPO Offices
601 E Kennedy Boulevard
18th Floor



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