Issue: 19          

November 2015    

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

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


From a list on paper, to feet on pavement   
The FDOT Tentative Work Program is the document listing transportation projects receiving state and federal funding in the coming five years (2016-20121). It includes some notable successes for walking and bicycling.

Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa designed a number of sidewalk and bicycle facility improvements projects that were prioritized by the MPO Board in August. Several of these have now been funded!  
  • Columbus Drive: Nebraska Ave - 14th St
  • Lutz Lake Fern Trail Connector: Stillwood Dr to Upper Tampa Bay Trail
  • Cypress Creek Elementary: Salida Del Sol Dr - Beth Shields Way
  • Rome Avenue: Kennedy Blvd - Columbus Dr
  • Stowers Elementary: Gentle Wood Ave - Barrington Stowers Dr
  • 46th Street: Busch Blvd - Fowler Ave
  • Summerfield Elementary: Heritage Green Pkwy - east of Pkwy 
  • Old Big Bend Road: Covington Garden Dr - Lincoln Rd

There are also several traffic signals being updated across the county, which will ensure proper pedestrian crossing treatments are in place. And, there are a number of roadways receiving new pavement, making cycling more comfortable and safe.
At the November 10th MPO Board Meeting, FDOT stepped up their commitment to safe walking and bicycling by identifying funding for Plant City's Collins Street Complete Street enhancements. Evaluated in the MPO's feasibility study in 2013, the Collins Street Study recommendations will help jump-start revitalization efforts in the Midtown district of Plant City with reconfigured streets and a community green space.
Other announcements by FDOT included funding for the Advanced Traffic Management System on North Dale Mabry and HART's Kennedy Boulevard MetroRapid PD&E Study. Check out the comprehensive list of transportation projects in our area in the FDOT District 7 Tentative Work Program.

Great Scott!... Street  
Scott Street from Perry Harvey Park all the way to 7th Avenue is being considered for a makeover. On tap is to use "green" stormwater techniques that capture rainwater and treat it before any pollution reaches urban watersheds. Instead of pipes and ponds, they are natural, beautiful, and cost less.

The environment for walking will also be greatly improved from today's fast moving cars and lack of shade to slower traffic, safe pedestrian crossings, relief under Florida-friendly landscaping, benches for resting, bike racks and trash containers. Participants at the city's first Scott Street workshop picked their favorite design elements and the public will continue to review and ask questions about the planned improvements on Scott Street.

If you would like to share your ideas and thoughts on the makeover of Scott Street, please email Laurie Potier-Brown, Landscape Architect, Parks and Recreation Department, City of Tampa, or call 813/274-5137.

A beacon of safety on 50th Street
Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs) are very effective at increasing driver awareness of potential pedestrians at unsignalized intersections and mid-block crossings. Studies in the City of St. Petersburg saw motorists yielding to pedestrians increase from under 2% to as high as 94% with RRFBs. 

Hillsborough County recognized the need to make walking safer along 50th Street near the University of South Florida, where many students cross from nearby apartments, and installed three RRFB devices between Fowler and Fletcher Avenues. With a combination of the flashing beacons and signs, pushing the button and making eye contact with the motorist will surely encourage more and safer travel through this busy area.

WalkWise Tampa Bay, the Hillsborough County Public Works Department, and the Sheriff's Office spent two days observing motorist and pedestrian behavior after the 50th Street flashing beacons were installed. Distractions like texting, talking on phones, and listening to music through earbuds continue to be a problem. But when pedestrians activate the beacons, there is a more keen awareness, better compliance of motorists stopping, and people crossing in the proper place.
Inspiring safety for everyone
We'll never know how many lives have been saved by the efforts of our community to make walking and cycling safer. Law enforcement, elected officials, the health field, and a myriad of private and public agencies have been putting forth a tremendous effort to help reduce the number and severity of crashes, particularly those involving someone walking or riding a bicycle. 
But we still have a long way to go! Recent pedestrian fatalities are prompting another surge in getting the word out to everyone traveling on our roadways to be aware, behave predictably, and follow the rules of the road. The MPO is joining with others to reach as many people as we can to emphasize that if traveling on foot, cross at appropriate locations, and if driving, slow down.  We are certain the number of severe crashes will be reduced - a goal we can all live with.
Seeking VIPS to help spread the safety message!
In coming weeks, we'll be reaching out for VIPS... Videos Inspiring Pedestrian (and bicycle!) Safety by hosting a video competition for students. The videos must be made with a cell phone, be a maximum of 30 seconds long, and focus on the rules of the road, such as crossing at crosswalks, not wearing earbuds or allowing other distractions while driving, bicycling, or walking, and the proper direction of travel when bicycling or walking. Look for more information coming soon!

Take this safety survey! Please.
This survey asks questions about your opinion on pedestrian (someone who is walking) and bicycle safety, and your knowledge on traffic laws related to pedestrians and bicycles. Alert Today Florida is using the replies to target efforts on what needs to be addressed to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. Thank you for taking this important survey!
A Vision of Zero Pedestrian Fatalities
On October 29 at City Hall, City of Tampa Council Member Lisa Montelione and Walk Bike Tampa, a newly formed non-profit announced a new local initiative to roadway safety. Vision Zero is the belief that no loss of life on our roadways is acceptable. Walk Bike Tampa presented the idea for City Council to pass a Resolution supporting Vision Zero. That Resolution will be presented to City Council for first reading December 3, 2015. Upon passage, Tampa will be the first southeastern city to embrace the concept.

On October 6, Chamberlain High School student Alexis Miranda was struck and killed by an oncoming car while crossing Busch Boulevard, less than 12 hours later, Council Member Montelione witnessed Tampa Fire Rescue and Tampa Police attend to a man, struck by a car who also died about a mile east of where Ms. Miranda was killed. As tragic as these stories are, deaths and injuries have become all too common in Tampa and Hillsborough County.

In 2014, the report Dangerous By Design by the National Complete Streets Coalition, ranked the Tampa Bay Area as the second-most-dangerous metro area in the nation for pedestrians. On October 7th, Chair of the MPO Livable Roadways and Policy Committees Council Member Montelione asked for a new approach to reach those most vulnerable on our roadways and called together a group of public agencies, including the MPO, FDOT, Hillsborough County School District, the USF Center of Urban Transportation Research, City and County staff, community groups and citizen advocates for pedestrian and bicycle safety to brainstorm.

For further information contact Council Member Montelione or call 813/274-7073.
Award winning transportation     
The Planning Commission held their 33rd Annual Planning & Design Awards program presented by Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas on October 29 at T Pepin's Hospitality Centre. As the American Planning Association celebrated Community Planning Month and Great Places in America in October, we are proud to honor the very best in planning and design in our own region. Four transportation projects were recognized during the ceremonies hosted by ABC Action News Anchor Brendan McLaughlin. Congratulations to these exemplary transportation projects!

Award of Outstanding Contribution to the Community to the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority
for the Tampa International Airport LEAF Sustainable Management Plan

Tampa International Airport's Sustainable Management Plan
, also known as LEAF, is grounded in TIA's responsibility to our people, our planet, and our collective prosperity. The Authority is committed to implementing the sustainability program in a manner that considers environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic vitality and will strive to leader this movement our in our community, our state, and beyond.

The Legacy of Environmental Actions for our Future program serves as a testament to the importance of community involvement in the planning process. Throughout program development an awareness of sustainability opportunities was catalyzed. This extensive collaboration included Authority staff, tenants, and the local community whose efforts resulted in the development of plan through interactive visioning sessions, online surveys, special presentations, social media interaction, and open house meetings. It is a very comprehensive plan identifying tasks, strategies and measures.  

The judges were completely on board with what this project is doing for our region. They felt it is a ground-breaking blueprint for other airports around the country to integrate into their master plans and applauded the project from an economic development, investment, participation, and environmental perspective.

Award of Excellence
to the City of Tampa, Moffatt & Nichol, and Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. for the
Tampa Riverwalk Kennedy Plaza 
Kennedy Plaza is a four-block over water structure that offers a safe and enjoyable pathway away from the busy streets of downtown and commercial buildup along the Hillsborough River. Linking two disjointed sections previously completed on either side of Kennedy Boulevard, Kennedy Plaza is the most incredible section of the Tampa Riverwalk aesthetically and experientially with lighting, shade, and gathering spaces.

An instant success with the community and the judges, who found Kennedy Plaza to be a stimulating adventure in form, function, and whimsical lighting, beckoning the community to embark on a riverfront journey. This vital and safe Riverwalk link is certain to contribute to the economic development and a unique sense of place in Downtown Tampa.

2015 Chairman's Award to
City of Tampa Department of 
Transportation & Stormwater Services  & DKS Associates 
for the Buffered Bike Lanes on Platt & Cleveland Streets

The new Complete Street traffic configuration is one-way, two lane roads with reduced speed limits to 35 miles per hour. The final design includes safety features for cyclists such as buffered bike lanes, door zone areas adjacent to parked vehicles, and green pavement marking conflict zones. We applaud the implementation of these important safety changes and look forward to ongoing infrastructure improvements.

2015 Chairman's Award to  City of Temple Terrace, Tampa Downtown Partnership, Florida Department of Transportation, and Greenman - Pedersen, Inc. for Cyclovia Tampa Bay

is a Spanish term meaning cycle way. It made its debut in the City of Tampa in October 2014 and in the City of Temple Terrace in May 2015. More than just walking and bicycling, these events included family fun for people of all ages, health and safety education, bicycle helmet fittings, singing, dancing, playing, street chalk art, history bike tours, local sports team mascot appearances, food trucks, and much more. We thank you for attracting thousands of people to our streets to experience their cities on foot or wheels of all types while promoting safety, health, and wellness! 

USDOT: Collaboration is key to improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety
Over the course of the last year, more than 1,500 people walked or got on bikes to take part in bicycle and walking safety assessments hosted by dozens of DOT field offices in every state.  And while the assessments identified physical barriers such as missing curb cuts or crosswalks, they also made significant progress in identifying ways Federal, State, and local agencies can all work together to ensure pedestrian and bicycle safety. On October 28, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a report on what they did, what they found, and what they learned.

The assessments and this report are part of DOT's renewed emphasis on the importance of actions to support pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Read more.
The art of making transportation beautiful

Designers, enthusiasts, leaders, and citizens came together in October to celebrate and explore how art improves the quality of our lives and our community. The Selmon Greenway opened in spring 2015 and meanders through downtown Tampa.

A pop-up art festival hosted by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority inspired teams of architects, landscape architects, graphic artists, photographers, planners, interior designers and students to build and display art along the Selmon Greenway. We are looking forward to seeing the outcomes sparked by this creativity as the greenway develops permanent installations!

Downtown Tampa Cyclovia - Excelente!
The weather couldn't have been better on October 25th when hundreds in the community celebrated the annual Cyclovia. Inspired by a tradition in Bogotá, Colombia where major city streets are closed to car traffic once per week. Kennedy Boulevard in Downtown Tampa become a place for families to run, bike, play and be well together. View our Cyclovia 2015 photo album of this even on the MPO facebook page.

We can't wait for the next Cyclovia Tampa Bay!
In This Issue
FDOT work program
Scott Street makeover
Safety beacons on 50th
Seeking VIPS soon!
Take this safety survey!
Vision Zero
Award winning transportation
USDOT safey report
Greenway art
Cyclovia Excelente!