Every so often I attend a meeting of bicycle advocates interested in making downtown Tampa more friendly and inviting to bicyclists. Karen Kress of the Tampa Downtown Partnership does a nice job hosting these sessions.
The city of Tampa government has a history of not being very hospitable to cyclists, but that culture is slowly changing as old city staffers who favor only the car in road planning are getting phased out and newer, more progressive staffers with more modern ideas (complete streets approach) about the bicycle are slowly phased in. But it's going to take a while until the dinosaurs are gone.
Today from 12 noon to 1:30 pm I had the chance to watch a terrific presentation made by Tampa HOK architects Anna Vasquez and Nico Stearly, who unveiled a proposal to build a multi-use trail below the Selmon Crosstown Expressway toll highway from south Tampa into downtown.
It would offer a terrific way for bike commuters to pedal into downtown and points north to USF, for example, while taking advantage of a corridor that has potential for enhancement. You can get more details about Anna and Nico's plan at a blog post here.
Anna and Nico are still putting meat on the bones of this trail system proposal and are seeking funding sources, so stay tuned for more details. SWFBUD likes this idea because it's consistent with its 10-point bicycle plan for enhancing bicycling in Tampa/Hillsborough County by having bicycle trails leading into downtown.