Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Transportation

New nonprofit Walk Bike Tampa calls for zero-fatality transportation network

TAMPA — What if you could redesign a road with a history of serious and fatal accidents — a road like Busch Boulevard — to be safer for drivers, pedestrians and people on bicycles?

It's possible, the new nonprofit Walk Bike Tampa said, and this community should be doing it.

Preventing all traffic fatalities, the group said Thursday, should be public officials' organizing principle when it comes to transportation planning, and they've got a model to follow: Vision Zero, a road-safety project from Sweden that has been adopted by New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and other U.S. cities. In every situation where a human might fail, say Vision Zero founders, the road system should not.

"When you design a system that is only focused on cars for generation after generation, people are really left to fend for themselves," said Hannah Strom, who formed Walk Bike Tampa in September with local transportation engineer Jackie Toledo. The Tampa Bay area is the nation's second-deadliest metro for pedestrians, she noted.

Supporters said a Vision Zero approach to a road like Busch Boulevard, which is under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Transportation, could include steps like lowering the speed limit, adding high-visibility crosswalks (a possibility being reviewed by the FDOT), adding medians and banning left turns to and from N Boulevard.

It was a driver in the left-hand turn lane who hit and killed 17-year-old Alexis Miranda on Oct. 6 as she crossed Busch Boulevard on her way to Chamberlain High School. No charges have been filed. The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office is reviewing the results of a Tampa police investigation into the accident.

"I just hope that something positive comes out of this tragedy," Valerie Jones, Alexis' mother, said during a Walk Bike Tampa news conference Thursday outside Tampa City Hall. "That way, I know my daughter's death wasn't in vain. I hope this is the answer."

Safe design "takes into account human error," Toledo said. "We know what works, and we are going to make it happen here."

Tampa City Council member Lisa Montelione said she would introduce a resolution Dec. 3 that, if passed, would support adopting a Vision Zero approach in Tampa. Hillsborough School Board member Cindy Stuart said she supports the school district taking a similar step.

But that's only the start, Montelione said. "What we need is more money."

Contact Richard Danielson at [email protected] or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times.

Comments
Petition language reveals details of Hillsborough sales tax transportation initiative

Petition language reveals details of Hillsborough sales tax transportation initiative

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections on Friday approved petition language that will let a new group of transportation advocates begin gathering the 48,000 signatures they need to get a sales tax initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot.All ...
Published: 06/15/18
Carlton: A trolley instead of a boondoggle? About time, Tampa

Carlton: A trolley instead of a boondoggle? About time, Tampa

You could rightly call the vintage streetcars that trundle between downtown Tampa and Ybor City big, beautiful boondoggles.Charming?Yes. An integral part of this city’s unique history?Absolutely.And in their current incarnation, overpriced, inefficie...
Published: 06/15/18
Federal judge halts work on Suncoast 2 toll road

Federal judge halts work on Suncoast 2 toll road

U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. granted a temporary restraining order on Thursday to halt the work that has already begun on the extension of the Suncoast Parkway — aka the controversial "Suncoast 2."The toll road now ends at U.S. 98 at the n...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Hillsborough group pushing new referendum on raising sales tax for transportation

Hillsborough group pushing new referendum on raising sales tax for transportation

TAMPA — In 2010, Hillsborough voters soundly rejected a 1 cent sales tax hike backed by their elected leaders to raise billions of dollars for roads, bus expansion and light rail. In 2016, county commissioners helped develop a new transportation plan...
Published: 06/14/18
SunPass apologizes to customers who couldn’t access accounts after website maintenance

SunPass apologizes to customers who couldn’t access accounts after website maintenance

Users were unable to access their SunPass accounts on Monday after the release of a system redesign that took the system’s web site, app and hotlines down for a week.From June 5-11, the SunPass website, hotlines and mobile app were taken down for sys...
Published: 06/14/18
Elon Musk to build 125 mph underground transit line serving Chicago O’Hare

Elon Musk to build 125 mph underground transit line serving Chicago O’Hare

Elon Musk has taken on a task perhaps more challenging than launching rockets into space: getting passengers from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to the Loop in 12 minutes, roughly three to four times as fast as the current taxi journey.The plan for the "Ch...
Published: 06/14/18
This trooper pulled over a driver - then realized the man had delivered him nearly 27 years ago

This trooper pulled over a driver - then realized the man had delivered him nearly 27 years ago

New Jersey state trooper Michael Patterson was on patrol recently when he pulled over a white BMW for a routine traffic stop.He asked the driver for his license and registration, and the two started making small talk. It turned out that the driver, M...
Published: 06/13/18
Fares eliminated on downtown Tampa trolley following FDOT grant

Fares eliminated on downtown Tampa trolley following FDOT grant

TAMPA — Fares on the TECO Line Streetcar in downtown Tampa will be eliminated for three years following a grant funded by the Florida Department of Transportation.The grant provide $2.67 million to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, allowing it to t...
Published: 06/12/18
Tampa road work forces office workers to wait up to an hour to get out of their parking garage every day

Tampa road work forces office workers to wait up to an hour to get out of their parking garage every day

TAMPA — At 42 floors tall, the largest office building on Florida’s Gulf Coast offers some spectacular views.But good luck getting out of it.Since the start of a $5.7 million street resurfacing project late last year on Kennedy Boulevard and Jackson ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18
After 43 years driving cabs, he has plenty of stories to tell

After 43 years driving cabs, he has plenty of stories to tell

A criminal on the run? Check. Two drunk elderly women seeking a threesome? Check. A repentant murderer? A possible ghost? A stabbing victim who doesn’t seem to know he’s been stabbed? Check, check and check. Come up with an outrageous scenario and Je...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18