Proposed changes to make Bayshore safer

The popular road in Tampa could be soon getting a facelift.

Whether you want to watch the sunrise, ride your bike or even check out the annual Gasparilla parade, Bayshore Boulevard is the place to be in Tampa.

Now, city leaders are considering ways to make it safer.

“(We've had) 295 crashes in the last five years and 29 of them walk and bike crashes,” says Beth Alden with the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization.

We can see why: within minutes our cameras clearly caught drivers disobeying the law.

That's why there's a push to lower the speed limit from 40 to 35.

“Just slow it down. It's really dangerous. I've also noticed that there is nothing for people to cross to get to the other side,” says Yarsita Marrquin, who works near the area.

Adding three crosswalks along Bayshore is one proposed improvement. Rapid Reflective Flashing Beacon (RRFB) crosswalks could be added at three locations:  

  • S. Dakota Avenue
  • S. Delaware Avenue
  • Midway between S. Brevard Avenue and W. Swann Avenue

Cyclist like Kent Jones also have concerns about the width of the bike trail. Jones, along with the majority of bike riders, uses the sidewalk.

“Close to the traffic and being in the way of bikers that are more serious. I feel like this is the best option,” he says. He says the trail is really designed for experienced cyclists.

A two‐foot buffer to the existing bicycle lanes could also be changed but Kent says he still wouldn’t feel comfortable.

“I just don't like being that close to a car. I would lose the battle,” he notes.

Adding more room for cyclists means less room for drivers. The extra buffer space would reduce width of travel lanes to 10 feet.

Beth Alden with the Hillsborough metropolitan planning organization says that’s is a good change.

“Just having the lanes even one foot narrower encourages people to slow down a little bit,” she says.

The changes were a decade in the making with a vision of reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero.

The City of Tampa is having a public meeting Thursday, from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. at the Kate Jackson Community Center on South Rome Avenue.
 

0223 Bayshore by webdept10 on Scribd

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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