Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bayshore bike lanes represent progress; more to come in 2014

Doug and Joann Short tool along in a new Bayshore bike lane Sunday, with Samson the papillon along for the ride. Both sides of the boulevard from Platt to Rome now have 4-foot bike lanes.


Doug and Joann Short tool along in a new Bayshore bike lane Sunday, with Samson the papillon along for the ride. Both sides of the boulevard from Platt to Rome now have 4-foot bike lanes.

BAYSHORE BOULEVARD — For decades, Bayshore Boulevard has welcomed runners and walkers with sweeping views of the sea and 4.5 miles of straight-line sidewalk.

But avid bicyclists have long felt like unwelcome guests on Bayshore, which had just one bike lane going north on the scenic road. Southbound, cyclists often took to the sidewalk, preferring to dodge runners, dog walkers, baby strollers and in-line skaters rather than cars.

"Hate to say it, I ride on the sidewalk more times than not because of safety," said Frank Kane, who lives near Bayshore and owns Flying Fish Bikes.

Transportation officials hope that changes now that the city has completed the first phase of a Bayshore project that added 4-foot bike lanes on both sides of the boulevard at its northern end, from Platt Street to Rome Avenue.

"I would say it's one of the most important things we've had in a long time," said Taylor Norton, 33, a South Tampa bicyclist and bike shop employee.

When it comes to walking, running or biking, Tampa and Tampa Bay aren't the most inviting locales. ranked the Tampa Bay area last in 2010 among 60 metropolitan areas in commuting, which factored in bicyclists. The advocacy group Transportation for America ranked Tampa Bay the nation's second-most-dangerous area for pedestrians last summer. Six bicyclists were killed in Hillsborough County last year, down from an unusually high 11 killed in 2010.

Among them was LeRoy Collins Jr., a retired two-star admiral and Florida Department of Veterans Affairs executive director, who was struck by an SUV and killed in July 2010 not far from Bayshore.

In the Tampa Bay area overall, 19 bicyclists were killed in 2011, the same number as 2010.

After a motorcycle killed a jogger on Bayshore in 2004, then-Mayor Pam Iorio created a safety task force to improve pedestrian and bike safety along the road. A sidewalk was added to the boulevard's southbound side and a traffic signal at Howard Avenue. In 2009, the Bayshore Boulevard Enhancement Project recommended 4-foot bike lanes on both sides of the road, left-turn bays and two fewer lanes to reduce speed.

The project was split into three phases, with the first finished in late January. The nearly $1.5 million first phase, funded by state gasoline taxes, stretches 1.6 miles — or a 10-minute bike ride.

"I think it's a wonderful step in the right direction. However, a big thing that is lacking here is that it's half the battle," said bicyclist Ed Collins, LeRoy Collins' son. "The other half is drivers actually recognizing the riders and not running them over."

Cyclists like Kane and Norton said Bayshore's new bike lanes are unlikely to get much use until the entire stretch of road is completed. Many bikers prefer to cut through safer South Tampa neighborhoods, they said.

But Jim Shirk, president of the Tampa Bay Freewheelers bicycling organization, said any progress is good.

"One point six miles is 1.6 miles we didn't have," said Shirk, also chairman of the Hillsborough County Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee. "I'm impressed that things are happening, and I'm certainly not going to complain with what we see when it's progress."

The second phase of the Bayshore project, just south of the first, is scheduled to begin in 2014 and will cost $2 million and add bike lanes from Rome to Howard avenues. The final $3 million phase, stretching from Howard Avenue to just north of Gandy Boulevard, won't be scheduled until funding becomes available, according to city officials.

Justin George can be reached at (813) 226-3368 or

Bayshore bike lanes represent progress; more to come in 2014 02/09/12 [Last modified: Thursday, February 9, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.