Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Construction on Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard set to start

Bicyclists try to cross Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. A road-narrowing project will leave Bayshore with four lanes from the Davis Islands bridge to Rome Avenue. Bike lanes are in the works, too.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Bicyclists try to cross Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. A road-narrowing project will leave Bayshore with four lanes from the Davis Islands bridge to Rome Avenue. Bike lanes are in the works, too.

TAMPA — Traffic on Bayshore Boulevard flies by so quickly that most days Wendy Wilson refuses to cross the boulevard north of Rome Avenue. Instead, she walks her dogs and jogs on Bayshore's west side.

"It's just too dangerous. You think you see an opening and then a car comes flying around the corner," said Wilson, 50, who lives on Willow Street about two blocks from Bayshore.

Wilson and hundreds of other joggers, cyclists and pedestrians could soon catch a break.

Under a plan to slow traffic, the city is set to break ground today on a $1.5 million project to reduce the busy six-lane road to four lanes between the Davis Islands Bridge and Rome Avenue.

The project will add bicycle lanes in both directions, painted crosswalks, left-turn lanes for northbound traffic and crossing signal improvements at Platt Street and Bay-to-Bay Boulevard.

Left-turn bays will be added at Rome, Oregon, Willow, Newport, Delaware, Edison and Brevard avenues.

Some concrete panels that make up the road surface will be replaced or repaired.

About 33,000 vehicles a day travel on Bayshore. The boulevard's 3.1 miles of uninterrupted sidewalk also makes the scenic highway popular with cyclists, joggers and pedestrians.

But the mix of pedestrians and vehicles sometimes has produced volatile results.

"The traffic is so loud you can't hear the bicycles coming. I've almost been hit. I know friends who've been hit," said Krisztina Lestak, 33, who lives on Harbour Island and jogs on Bayshore Boulevard four times a week. "You have to be very careful."

For 10 years, city officials, cycling enthusiasts and Bayshore homeowners have debated ways to make Bayshore safer.

In 2004, after a jogger was killed by a motorcycle, Mayor Pam Iorio created a safety task force to recommend changes.

A sidewalk was added to the boulevard's southbound side and a traffic signal installed at Howard Avenue.

In 2009, traffic engineers, working with neighborhood groups unveiled a more comprehensive plan called the Bayshore Boulevard Enhancement Project.

The work scheduled to start this month stems from that plan.

"The idea is to make it safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, so it's not a free-for-all out there," city transportation division manager Jean Dorzback said.

"Between the left-turn bays and having a less-wide roadway, those are conditions that cause drivers to go at a lower speed."

The seven-month project, which is funded by state gasoline taxes, is the first of three phases to improve Bayshore between Platt Street and Gandy Boulevard.

The second phase, from Rome to Howard, is funded at about $2 million and is set to take place in 2014.

The third phase, from Howard to Gandy, has not been funded and isn't scheduled yet.

"As far as the plan, it made sense to us," said Guy King, president of Bayshore Boulevard Homeowners Association, which provided input to the safety plan.

"Lowering the number of lanes will help with traffic calming. And having the bike lanes will help,'' he said. "You can't have bicycles on the sidewalk and runners on the sidewalk and walkers on the sidewalk. Hopefully, this will help out."

The city said the boulevard will remain open during construction, but the work will require periodic lane closures.

Construction on Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard set to start 02/19/11 [Last modified: Monday, February 28, 2011 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump meeting with G-7 leaders after going on offensive

    Nation

    TAORMINA, Italy — In the Middle East, President Donald Trump was feted with pageantry, the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel seemingly in competition to outdo the other with the warmth of their welcomes and the depth of their pledges of cooperation.

    From left, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni arrive for the group photo at the G7 Taormina summit on the island of Sicily on Friday  in Taormina, Italy. [Getty Images]
  2. Perspective: As the toll climbs, advocates bring renewed attention to Florida gun violence

    Perspective

    Times Staff Writer

    Like most 12-year-old girls, Ra'Mya Eunice loved slumber parties.

    The Empire State Building in New York City was bathed in tangerine light last year to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day. It was part of the Wear Orange campaign led by the non-profit Everytown for Gun Safety. [Courtesy of Everytown for Gun Safety]
  3. Lawyer says Kushner willing to cooperate with investigators

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is willing to cooperate with federal investigators looking into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, his attorney said.

    In this May 23 photo, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, left, and his wife Ivanka Trump watch during a visit by President Donald Trump to Yad Vashem to honor the victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem. The Washington Post is reporting that the FBI is investigating meetings that Trump's son-in-law, Kushner, had in December 2016, with Russian officials. [AP photo]
  4. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  5. Deputies seek two men in attempted armed home invasion robbery in Seminole

    Crime

    Detectives are searching for two men they say broke into a home in Seminole Thursday night in an attempted armed robbery.