Another Kick in the Pants for Tampa Bicycle Infrastructure

Good friend (and champion of cyclists throughout the region) Alan Snel reported today that another “promised” bike lane to serve the residents of the Hyde Park/downtown core area was killed off.

Alan writes:

“In February, Mayor Pam Iorio joined the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club on its maiden bike ride and during a break along the ride promised (we have it on video) to put in a bike lane along Platt Street to lead cyclists from South Tampa into downtown. Platt Street is wide and a one-way main road that leads into downtown.

But check out the response I got today from a city public works official about that bike lane that was promised by the mayor for Platt Street:”

To read the rest of his article and to see the response from the City of Tampa, click here for the lowdown.

Whenever this city shows initiative about developing alternative transportation forms, and local cyclists get their hopes up, someone in the administration comes and throws a bucket of cold water onto their dreams. Ugh.


  1. 2whls3spds August 30, 2008 3:20 am 

    Somewhere along the way we are going to need to start suing for cycling infrastructure or get the laws changed to force them to add it. The towns around me put in a couple of miles of poor quality MUP and point at proudly to show that they are spending money on cycling infrastructure…yet spend tens of millions of dollars to redo botch highway jobs, interchanges to nowhere, etc, etc.

    We have had a huge run of pedestrian and cyclist accidents in the past few months. Unfortunately most if not all of them involved drunk drivers, and couple of them were repeat offenders with no license or insurance. In a couple of the cases infrastructure would not have made a difference, but he response of JAM’s was typical vocal and obnoxious.


  2. Ghost Rider August 30, 2008 5:49 am 

    Aaron, I’m afraid you’re right — as much as I hate the idea, it may take something like class-action lawsuits in some of these cases.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but the Florida DOT has a rule on their books that states something to the effect that every time a road is widened, resurfaced or constructed, bicycle infrastructure must be added “where feasible”. Unfortunately, “where feasible” means “if we feel like going through the hassle”. It’s a completely unenforced rule and one of many reasons why the great state of Florida lags so far behind in developing other transportation choices.

    In a state where year-round bicycling is a strong possibility, positive infrastructure development just isn’t happening. Instead, more roads continue to be planned and built with few or no concessions to pedestrians and cyclists. And you’re right — they’ll point to a 200 yd. stretch of broken bike lane that goes nowhere and say “yeah, we’re proud of our ‘green’ achievements…now quit your bitching!”

  3. 2whls3spds August 30, 2008 1:43 pm 

    I think a civil liberties suit would be the way to go. Moving about under ones own power has been determined to be a right, driving a motor vehicle is a privilege. When privileges start interfering with rights it is time to make a change. I was having this discussion with one of my SIL’s that happens to be a constitutional lawyer. She is of the opinion that it is getting very near the tipping point and expects to see a test case soon. She thinks it is going to come from a someone that has been hit by an impaired driver.


  4. Ghost Rider August 30, 2008 2:23 pm 

    And if a favorable precendent gets on the books, that could open the door to savvy or politically-well-connected advocacy groups to file suits. Like I said, I really hate the idea of things coming to a head like that…but man, the spoils could be sweet!

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