Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tampa's First Sharrows and SWFBUD Met Tampa Transportation Staff Monday

You're looking at the first "sharrows" in the city of Tampa -- shared-road markings just painted today on Euclid Avenue between Bayshore and Westshore. They have been in the works for several months now after Mayor Pam Iorio killed the plan for bike lanes on Euclid. City staff replaced the bike lane plan with sharrows and signs along Euclid that tell drivers that bicyclists will be in the traffic lane.

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I share everyone's concern over the recent string of bicyclist deaths in Tampa Bay and I believe there's no single way to fix things.

We need a multi-faceted action plan that includes driver and bicyclist education, a public awareness campaign explaining bicycles have a right to the road, many more bike lanes and shoulders, share the road signs, sharrows and a regional paved trail system that links up with key roads and business centers. I'm sure you have other ideas, too.

Yesterday afternoon, I spent 90 minutes with Tampa Transportation Manager Jean Dorzbeck and two department staffers -- Ben Money and John Marsh. John attends many local MPO transportation planning meetings and other local government sessions representing the city of Tampa's interest in bicycling and walking.

They want to convey that they do value bicycling as part of a multi-modal transportation system in Tampa and are looking for your opinions about what can be done to improve bicycling in three general areas: downtown, Westshore and the USF area.

They also shared information about an interesting road project that will help bicyclists.

It's reworking of North Boulevard from Main Street to Martin Luther King Blvd. The four-lane road will be reduced to three lanes with a southern stretch of the road including bike lanes, then transitioning to sharrows -- the shared-road markings you see in the photos above.

The three lanes will include a center-turn lane and single-traffic lanes going in opposite directions.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns about bicycle infrastructure in Tampa, contact John Marsh at John.Marsh@ci.tampa.fl.us; Jean Dorzback at Jean.Dorzback@tampagov.net or Ben Money at Ben.Money@ci.tampa.fl.us

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