City staff have been working with the Pinellas County Florida Department of Health on the Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) program. The purpose of the program is to improve access and awareness of healthy activity options in Pinellas County. The City of St. Petersburg is moving forward with a plan to improve both knowledge of and access to the City’s parks and trails based on residents’ responses to surveys. As a result, the City Bike Map will be updated, replenished, and reprinted with added content, covering the different types of bicyclists. New signs will be installed to help pedestrians and cyclists navigate the City’s parks. An additional 325 bike racks will be installed in locations throughout the city to encourage healthy transportation for daily activities. And, countless trail projects are underway to improve the current network of pedestrian and bicyclist access points.
To make the walking environment safe and inviting, pedestrian bulbouts will be installed in at least ten major intersections in the City. Pedestrian bulbouts extend the corner sidewalk at intersections, shortening crossing distances, improving pedestrian and motorist visibility, and slowing traffic. In addition, Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFB’s), which allow pedestrians to alert motorists that they are crossing, have been installed at an additional 50 locations along with accessible sidewalk ramps, bringing to citywide total to 103 RRFBs and associated accessibility ramps.
City staff also developed and distributed a utility bill flier in January to provide traffic safety tips for both pedestrians and motorists. The fliers were aimed at reminding City residents of the importance of staying alert to avoid causing, or being involved, in a traffic crash. Additional copies of the flier were produced to be distributed a community events and neighborhood association meetings.
The City of St. Petersburg has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate its deep commitment to progressive transportation action. The goal is to address public health needs by improving facilities and access for bicyclists and pedestrians, and ensuring that those improvements enhance safety, too. When people are able to walk or bike rather than drive because those options are comfortable and available, healthier lifestyle choices come along for the ride.