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Tag Archive: hillsborough mpo

Tampa’s Bike Safety Action Plan Draft Unveiled

In response to the rash of cyclist deaths in 2010 on the streets in and around Tampa, the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Board of County Commissioners spearheaded a series of workshops to get a bike-safety action plan up and running. They released the results a few days ago in three parts: stakeholder workshop summary, public workshop summary and draft goals/strategy. All three parts are available by visiting the Hillsborough MPO’s website.

I haven’t had a chance to read through all of it yet, but I am very pleased to see that local government agencies (the City of Tampa also has something in the works to address bicycle safety) rose to the occasion and got the ball rolling on some plans to make it safer to ride in this area, an area long-known as one of the most dangerous places in the U.S. to be a cyclist.

Tampa-area Bicycle Safety Action Plan Workshops — November 29

In response to the rash of cyclist deaths in the Tampa Bay area over the past few months…and because something like this is long overdue, two workshops are taking place on November 29th for Hillsborough County/Tampa residents to let their voices be heard about making our area a safer place to use a bicycle.

First up, a “stakeholders” meeting will be at the FDOT District 7 office on McKinley Blvd. in Tampa (near USF). Details here:

safety_action_plan

RSVP required for this one…

Later that day, the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is hosting a workshop:

A Public Workshop will then be held that same evening on NOV 29 from 6 pm to 8 pm on the 26th floor of the County Center at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, Fla. 33602 in downtown Tampa. The MPO wants you to share your ideas and experiences on cycling in our county and what we can do to reduce the alarming crash statistics. Feel free to RSVP for this Public Workshop, but you are welcomed and encouraged to attend either way!

Contact information:
Gena Torres — (813) 273-3774 x357
torresg@plancom.org

We can’t just be silent — especially if our words and thoughts and ideas can help make our area a safer place to ride. So, if you can, please attend. I’m hoping to catch the public workshop in the evening if my schedule allows.

2010 Bicycle Bash by the Bay Announcement

The other night, I attended the press conference to announce the 2010 Bicycle Bash by the Bay, southwest Florida’s premier bicycling event.

bash poster

Good stuff is in the works for this year, including a new venue:

South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers is celebrating the relocation of a popular bicycle event to Flatwoods Wilderness Park.

The Bicycle Bash, which was previously at St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park, will take place Nov. 7.

“It’s a really big move for us,” said Alan Snel, director of SWFBUD, the bicycle advocacy group. “It was successful in St. Petersburg, but to take it to the next level we needed to have live bicycle activities with the bicycle exhibitor village.”

More details can be found at the Tampa Tribune online.

Alan was inspired by his trip last year to Sea Otter, and moving the Bash to a location where bike riding can take place during the event is a GREAT move…who knows? Perhaps one day the Bash will rival Sea Otter!

Anyhow, back to the press conference. Here, Alan presents some details to the group:

alan

Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe spoke to the gathered crowd. Sharpe was instrumental in getting the Bash moved over to our side of the bay and the man is absolutely passionate about finding ways to incorporate alternative transportation (including rail, cycling and walking) into our daily lives here in the Tampa area. Plus, he’s a hell of a nice guy:

mark sharpe

Next, Tina Russo of the Hillsborough County MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (and an employee of the Hillsborough County Parks Department) spoke to the group. She stressed the importance of having such an event in a beautiful location like Flatwoods and seemed very excited by the prospect of this year’s Bash:

tina russo

Here are some of the attendees mingling after the formalities…the press conference was held at SWFBUD member store Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, and they had the place well-stocked with cold beer and yummy snacks for all ages. They make fantastic hosts…and didn’t even mind my child running amok through their showroom. Good folks over there!

Check out our coverage of last year’s Bicycle Bash by clicking here. You can be sure we’ll be at the 2010 edition to provide coverage. We may even sponsor a booth again this year and should have goodies to give away. In any case, I hope those of you in the Tampa Bay area mark your calendars for November 7th, and we’ll see you there!

Producing a Bike Map for Your Town…

Mark Stosberg of Bikes as Transportation wrote to tell us of a project he’s worked on — creating a bicycling map of Richmond, Indiana. His website details all the steps to undertaking such a project, and the steps are expertly presented. His site has it all, from planning for such a project, the actual field work needed to produce a map, presenting it to the city and even fundraising techniques to help float the project. It’s definitely worth a read, and his experiences may inspire others to craft their own city’s map. Check it out…you won’t be disappointed!

The Tampa area is lucky in the fact that despite slow infrastructural improvements for bicyclists, the area’s Metropolitan Planning Organization has been producing bike maps for several years. There are two versions: one is a “bike suitability map” that details good, ok and poor road choices for bicyclists with color codes, and the other is a pair of maps that detail on- and off-road bikeways, both existing and future. All of those maps are available by visiting the Hillsborough MPO site.

Another inspiring bike map story comes from NOLACycle (via Urbanvelo.org). Read all about it by visiting Urbanvelo’s coverage of the project.

Thanks, Mark, for the heads-up on this project — you’ve created a great resource for anyone who desires to help their community by taking on such an endeavor. Bikecommuters.com gold stars for you!!!

It’s Coming Next Sunday…

…the 2nd annual “Bicycle Bash by the Bay“, that is.

Bikecommuters.com will be there with giveaways from our friends at KHS Bicycles, “bike suitability maps” of Hillsborough County provided by the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization and assorted other goodies.

There will also be a bunch of bike shops, food vendors and bicycle advocacy groups there, so if you’re in the Tampa Bay area, come on by and say “Howdy”. You might even get a chance to win something!

The Bicycle Bash by the Bay will be at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg next Sunday, the 4th of November, from 11AM until 4PM. See you there!