On the weekend of August 5 and 6, 2017, the Pasco County Planning and Development Department, Transportation Planning Division/Metropolitan Planning Organization (TDP/MPO) interviewed over 150 bicyclists, runners, and walkers at the San Antonio Athletic Complex before and after their rides, runs, and walks. The event was part of the TDP/MPO’s Planning and Safety Study for the Northeast Hills area of Pasco County. Participants shared insights into preferred and avoided routes, road conditions and safety concerns for motorist and cyclists. Suggestions included signage, local facility needs, and specific areas needing repair.
This region’s popularity derives from some of the most beautiful and challenging hill rides in the State. The small towns, forests, open fields, and agricultural uses epitomize the rural context enjoyed by cyclists and motorists alike. Most of these roads are two lanes with limited widths and no bike lanes or shoulders. Other concerns include roads that lack sidewalks to safely connect neighborhoods with parks, shops, schools, work, and transit. While rural roads lend themselves to higher speed car traffic, and open terrain for the cyclists, slower moving tractors and farm vehicles must operate on these same roads. It is the potential conflict between these various users that spurred Commissioner Kathryn Starkey to request the safety study “to look for ways to improve conditions for both road users and bicyclists while enhancing the unique qualities of this area.“
The TDP/MPO created an interactive map to simplify the comment process, which is accessible through the county website at: http://www.communityremarks.com/pascocounty/index.php, or by utilizing a QR code from a mobile device. The TDP/MPO is inviting comments from all transportation system users in this area. The map will be posted until August 30. The goal of this project is to improve safe, efficient multimodal travel options in the northeast part of the county using a combination of engineering, education, and enforcement. Additional public events will be held in the Northeast Pasco area in the near future.