On Tuesday, April 19th, the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) presented the outcomes of a recent transportation study at the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association (OSHNA) board meeting. The study was conducted in cooperation with FDOT and the City of Tampa and considered alternatives to the current configuration of Florida Avenue and Tampa Street/Highland Avenue, from I-275 in Downtown Tampa to Hillsborough Avenue in Seminole Heights. The goals of the study include improving mobility and safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and transit users as well as making enhancements to the roadways for area businesses and neighborhoods.
One viable alternative identified by the study is to eliminate one of the three lanes on each roadway to create space to enhance sidewalks and bicycle facilities. Bicycle facilities might include buffered bike lanes or a two-way cycle track to provide cyclists with more space to ride, making them more protected and visible. The second alternative considered making both streets two-way roads with one travel lane in each direction in order to improve traffic circulation for businesses along the roadways.
The OSHNA Board was receptive to the idea of enhancing pedestrian and bicycle facilities in Seminole Heights as well as design strategies to promote local businesses. The Hillsborough MPO’s consultant, Demian Miller, a transportation planner with local firm Tindale Oliver and a Seminole Heights resident, echoed the enthusiasm of the Board and commented on how exciting it was to work on something professionally that could also be of great benefit to his kids, friends, and neighbors.
Although the project is not currently funded for construction, coordination between the MPO, FDOT, and the City of Tampa is ongoing and the study findings will be presented to the MPO Board on May 3rd.
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