Issue: 23           

November 2016    

Walk Bike News banner

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

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


Great news and save-the-dates!
View of Jackson Street Traffic Downtown Tampa Near City Hall
Jackson Street Redesign

FDOT will hold a public workshop on Thursday, November 10, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Hillsborough County Public Schools Raymond O. Shelton Administrative Center, 901 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33602. The concept will create a new east-west bikeway through the heart of downtown Tampa. It is to be built as part of a regularly scheduled roadway repaving project.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn posesd with Cost Bike Tampa
Top 50!  
Congratulations to the City of Tampa on being named as one of the Top 50 Best Bike Cities for 2016 by Bicycling Magazine! The MPO is proud to
have helped prepare the city's Walk/Bike Plans.

walk bike tampa logo
Happy 1st Birthday

Walk-Bike Tampa! 
This grassroots group was born on November 1, 2015 and has hit the ground running... and walking and biking! Get involved with this citizens advocacy group building a more walkable, bikeable, and livable Tampa.

Saying goodbye to outgoing Chair Lisa Montelione Thank you

Lisa Montelione!

Hillsborough MPO Livable Roadways Committee thanks outgoing chair Tampa City Council-member Lisa Montelione for her years of passionate leadership. We'll miss you Lisa!  
Stormwater improvements will fast-track

Green Spine Phase 2 segment

Tampa Green Spike Phase Map
Extending Downtown Tampa's protected bikeway, the Green Spine cycle-track, into West Tampa will be happening a lot sooner than expected! A new stormwater improvement assessment fee approved by Tampa City Council in September allows the city to proceed with its Cypress Street Outfall Extension project. To avoid ripping up the road twice, the City has decided to build the Green Spine at the same time it installs a new box culvert that will drain the road after heavy rains. The project is located on Cass Street between Rome and Boulevard, and along Rome Avenue from Kennedy to Cass.
By tying Green Spine Phase 2 in with the stormwater work, the opportunity has been created for the Green Spine Phase 3B segment to be next in line for available grant funds. Phase 3B will run along Nuccio Parkway from Nebraska Avenue to 7th Avenue and now prioritized as the first segment to be funded for construction. The City will design and construct the remaining western segment from Boulevard across the Cass Street Bridge to Gasparilla Plaza with its own funds.

Speaking of Green Spine... Award of Excellence for the Cass and Tyler Streets Conversion!

Newly constructed Cass St. Cycle Track fall 2016
On October 20, the Planning Commission held its 34th Annual Planning & Design Awards presented by Tampa Electric & Peoples Gas. An Award of Excellence for the Cass and Tyler Streets One-way to Two-way Conversion with a Two-way Cycle Track and Share-the-Road bicycle facilities was given to the City of Tampa Department of Transportation and Stormwater Services, the City of Tampa's Planning and Development Department, and CH2M Hill.

A collaborative process that embraced and celebrated the Hillsborough River and the waterfront, the InVision Center City Plan developed in 2011 for downtown and the surrounding residential communities proposed a larger connected district of livable places, connected people and provided mobility. Neighborhood charrettes with stakeholder input called for enhancing the pedestrian and bicycle environment linking residential neighborhoods with downtown. Downtown improvements included the modification of Cass and Tyler Streets into two-way streets from Doyle Carlton Drive to Jefferson Street. The improvements included construction of a segment of the Green Spine two-way cycle track from Gasparilla Plaza to Nebraska Avenue and shared lane markings.

The judges thought this project was fully on track with promoting safe walking and bicycling while creatively drawing millennials who desire to live and work in that environment. Taking Tampa's investment to the next level, state-of-the-art facilities and innovations like the activated signals foster a better sense of place for Downtown and will foster continued economic growth.

The City of Tampa and Florida Department of Transportation were also honored with the Chairman's Award for the recent completion of the 21st and 22nd Streets Urban Modification Project that included:

  • wider sidewalks and bike lanes
  • on-street parking and granite curbing
  • historic lamp posts
  • street furniture and landscaping
  • new A D A compliant sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks
Read about all of the Planning Commission's Planning & Design Award winners
FDOT to extend Selmon Greenway

This month, FDOT begins construction of a multi-use trail in Ybor City, along the north side of Adamo Drive (SR 60) from east of 19th Street to the existing Selmon Greenway. The trail is part of an intersection improvement project that also includes replacement of traffic signals, repaving, and new pedestrian signals. Construction will take place day and night requiring lane closures nightly, Sunday through Thursday from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am. The project is expected to be finished in early 2017. For more information on this project, call 813/612-3200.

Safety concerns bringing much needed changes to University Area neighborhood

Children exit bus with no sidewalks
After several alarming fatal crashes in the University Area, the MPO and partner agencies focused on making improvements to the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. A significant improvement was the redesign of Fletcher Avenue to include several new pedestrian crossings.

Now, the University Area District Community Development Corporation is working to get grant money and enlist local businesses to not just add sidewalks, but fix broken roads and cut down trees blocking street lights. Residents said changes are desperately needed. As recently reported by ABC Action News the residents are more than happy to welcome this community investment. 
Hillsborough MPO is honored to take

'Garden Steps' into the HealthyCommunity50
10K 'seed money' will increase access to healthy foods in area food deserts

To help improve public health through our communities, the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of Counties announced on September 15 the first-round winners of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge. The HealthyCommunity50, the 50 cities and counties selected, each receive a $10,000 community seed grant to implement a program that will demonstrate measurable improvements around key social determinants of health.

The MPO is thrilled to announce its selection for a HealthyCommunities50 seed grant! Together with our partners - the City of Tampa, Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough, HART, the Planning Commission, and the Coalition of Community Gardens - we will focus on neighborhood access to fresh produce. "The efforts to improve food quality through our community garden coalition, while fostering walkability, bikeability, and transit use, will serve as a guide to other communities interested in improving community health through active living," said Hillsborough MPO Chair Lesley "Les" Miller, Jr.
New MPO bicycle suitability map!        
Tampa Greenways Trail and Alan Wright Blueways Trail Sign

The MPO has created an interactive bicycle suitability map. With the help of summer intern Tim Horst, a University of Florida engineering student, the MPO reviewed our roadway, bicycle, and pedestrian conditions for major roadways within Hillsborough County. Once the data was collected, Tim was able to practice his Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping skills and create and create the map that depicts the type of bicycle facility, including paved trails, on-street or off-street, level of comfort, and mountain bike trails.

Multi-modal connections for Tampa & St Pete...

Coast to Coast and by the Cross Bay Ferry!

Congratulations to Coast Bike Share on expanding service into our beautiful sister-city of St. Petersburg! St. Pete's Coast soft launch opened with 100 demo bicycles and 10 hubs along the waterfront and Central Avenue corridor on November 1st.

On that same day, the Cross Bay Ferry took its' maiden voyage. A collaboration between the two cities - St. Peter and Tampa, and two counties - Hillsborough and Pinellas, the pilot project will operate for six months between the Vinoy Basin in downtown St. Petersburg and the Tampa Convention Center in downtown Tampa. This
regional effort is designed to demonstrate water transportation technology and service options to the residents and businesses of the Tampa Bay region.

Use Coast Bike Share on either end of your trip, or bring your own two-wheeler on the ferry. Yes, there are racks on board for your personal bikes! There simply is no better way to commute from St Pete to Tampa's Downtown! Great for weekend fun trips between our two beautiful cities. Check out the scheduled trips, plan a private excursion, and get your tickets now at:
Let's hook up soon! 

Congratulations on the grand opening o the new US 301 Multi-use Trail connecting Dade City and Zephyrhills! The 4.5 mile, 10-foot wide trail extends from Kossik Road north to Dade City Avenue and was built within the existing road right-of-way on the west side of U.S. 301. The multi-use trail was a collaborative effort among the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Pasco County MPO, the cities of Zephyrhills and Dade City, and the Dade City and Zephyrhills Chambers of Commerce. FDOT constructed the trail as part of the US 301 resurfacing project. Construction lasted 12 months with an estimated cost of $2 million.

Kids gobble up nearly 4,000 #VisionZero safety bands at first Riverwalk Trick or Treat event! 

Amanda Coker's inspiring world record

Amanda Coker breaks world record for highest annual mileage on a bicycle.
Five years ago Amanda Coker, a competitive collegiate cyclist, suffered serious brain and spinal injuries when she was hit by a car while bicycling.

This past September, on the paved trail at Hillsborough County's Flatwoods Park, Coker broke the Ultra Marathon's Cycling Association's women's record for highest annual mileage on a bicycle. Her 29,604 miles in just four months broke a world record that had stood since 1938. Read more and more about this inspirational 24-year old!

The bicyclists' manifesto for an autonomous vehicle future
How to protect bicyclists once the cars start driving themselves

Image of cyclist though wet windshield

The advance of autonomous vehicle technology is raising questions about how driverless vehicles are going to interact with the surrounding environment. For example, how will the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians be addressed? Policy goals won't be enough to protect bicyclists once the cars start driving themselves. Strong standards will be necessary to govern the interactions between cars and bikes in an autonomous future. A recent article in Planetizen tackles this interesting topic.         
A #VisionZero approach to speed limits

For decades, many states have only analyzed automobile traffic patterns when setting speed limits. Now, the City of Portland, Oregon, Bureau of Transportation is looking at more than just cars. The bureau is pioneering a new system where it considers the entire road - including how much foot traffic there is, and how closely bikes and cars intermingle - when asking the state to set speeds. 

Last year, Portland officials formally adopted Vision Zero, the notion that no fatality or serious injury on roads is acceptable, and promised the ethos would guide all aspects of their work. Read more about how Portland is re-thinking the way their state evaluates speed limits and how it can affect the bicyclists and pedestrians that will use them.

Bike sonar improves safety 

We know newer vehicles have warning systems to detect when our cars are about to bump something, or use back-up cameras to detect things we normally wouldn't see. But what if our bikes had similar technologies to help keep them safe when sharing the road with vehicles?  Bike Sonar is a new device which can detect when vehicles pass too closely to cyclists.

In many states, including Florida, it is the law for vehicles to stay at least three feet away when approaching and passing a cyclist. Most motorists and many cyclists aren't even aware of this law. Now there are several cities deploying bike sonar to help law enforcement educate drivers.

In This Issue
Greats & dates!
Green Spine extending
Award of Excellence
Selmon Greenway extending
University Area safety
Bicycle Suitability Map
Coast to Coast connections
Let's hook up soon!
Riverwalk Trick or Treat
Inspirational world record
Bicyclists' nanifesto
#VisionZero and speed
Bike sonar safety | 601 E Kennedy Boulevard, 18th floor | Tampa | FL | 33602