On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at a reception at the Franklin Manor in downtown Tampa, the five Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in the Tampa Bay area (Hernando/Citrus, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota/Manatee) along with Walk Bike Tampa and Bike/Walk Tampa Bay, presented awards to individuals for their contributions to the region. There were two award categories: “Bob the Builder” awards, for outstanding achievements in engineering, and “Vision Zero Heroes”, for outstanding achievements in education and encouragement.
Whit Blanton, Executive Director of Forward Pinellas, presented a “Vision Zero Hero” award to Becky Afonso, Executive Director of the Florida Bicycle Association. Blanton commended Afonso’s attempts to get laws passed that would make texting while driving a primary offense and expanding the “Move Over Law” to apply to bicyclists. He also mentioned that Afonso was a member of the Forward Pinellas Citizen Advisory Committee and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
The Hillsborough MPO presented a “Bob the Builder” award to Jean Duncan, Director of Transportation and Stormwater Services for the City of Tampa. Beth Alden, Executive Director of the Hillsborough MPO, presented the award. Next, Steve Diez, a transportation planner with the Hernando/Citrus MPO, presented a “Bob the Builder” award to Frank DiGiovanni, the City Manager for the City of Inverness.
The Pasco County MPO presented a “Bob the Builder” award to Peter Hsu, the Traffic Safety Program Engineer for District Seven of the Florida Department of Transportation. Craig Casper, Transportation Planner for the Pasco County MPO, said “When I asked around at Pasco County and several of our municipalities who had made the most positive impact on safety in Pasco County, the same person’s name came up from almost every single person. Peter’s name is ubiquitous with championing safety projects here. He is known as a collaborator with a focus on implementing projects that bring crash rates down. This often means helping other agencies complete grants. He uses a data driven approach that is acknowledged as unbiased and is recognized as a leader statewide.”
Christine Acosta, Executive Director of Walk Bike Tampa, presented a Vision Zero Hero award to Kent Bailey of Coppertail Brewery. “Mr. Kent Bailey and his team at Coppertail Brewery provided a donation that enabled bicycle valet at ten bay area events so that thousands of bicyclists could have free secure bike parking.” Acosta said. “Coppertail Brewery is designated by the League of American Bicyclists as a Silver Bicycle Friendly Business. Kent’s personal interest in the trail network that will enable his employees and customers to get to Coppertail Brewing and Historic Ybor, safely and apart from vehicular traffic, inspired Walk Bike Tampa to work with county commissioners and other stakeholders in Hillsborough County. As a result of his encouragement and our subsequent work, funds have been allocated for trails development and the responsibility has been transitioned to transportation and public works.”
At the end of the awards ceremony, Bike/Walk Tampa Bay presented Steve Brown with the 2018 Michael R. Schwaid Bicyclist of the year award. You can read more about Steve and the award here.
Full list of award winners
“Bob the Builder” awards
“Vision Zero Hero” awards