On May 18, 2016, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) approved the 40th Street Lane Elimination Plan. The project, which includes the stretch of 40th Street south of Hillsborough Avenue to Columbus Avenue, will reduce the number of travel lanes from six to four, and install buffered bike lines in each direction.
Lane eliminations repurpose travel lanes to make way for other modes of transportation, like bike lanes, multiuse paths, and sidewalks. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), lane eliminations are proven safety countermeasures that address existing road conditions that might be unsafe: “Improving safety is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration remains committed to reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on our Nation’s roadways.”
Several years ago, the City of Tampa identified 40th Street as an area that would benefit from a lane elimination after conducting a study of the corridor. Since, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has held public meetings and utilized the Statewide Lane Elimination Guide to determine the viability of the lane elimination with objective criteria.
Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2016 and be complete by the spring of 2017.