Flashing beacons go up on Bayshore Blvd so traffic will stop for crossing pedestrians

Published October 1 2018
Updated October 1 2018

TAMPA — Another measure is in the works to make scenic Bayshore Boulevard more pedestrian friendly.

City officials say they have begun installing pole-mounted, pedestrian-activated flashing beacons at three intersections on Bayshore to help people cross by signalling traffic to stop.

The beacons are being installed at Bayshore's intersections with S Dakota Avenue, S Delaware Avenue and between S Brevard and W Swann Avenue. The city began the work Monday and plans to have them fully operational by the end of October, said James King, an engineer supervisor with the city.

The project will force the closing of single lanes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until the work is finished.

The fine for failing to stop at a flashing beacon is $153, said Eddy Durkin, a Tampa Police spokesman. The same fine will be issued to drivers who attempt to pass another car stopped at a flashing beacon, Durkin said.

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The beacons are among a number of safety measures planned for Bayshore, where a mother and her 21-month-old daughter were fatally injured by a racing sports car while walking across the divided street five months ago.

“Pedestrian safety is a top priority,” Mayor Buckhorn said Monday. “These beacons will serve as a visual reminder that pedestrians are present while also slowing traffic.”

The city is in the final stage of its Bayshore Safety Enhancement project, which includes adding a bike lane, narrowing traffic lanes and lowering the speed limit from 40 to 35 mph.

Narrowing the lanes should help make drivers slow down, Jean Duncan, director of transportation and storm water services, said in May.

A portion of Bayshore between S Howard Avenue and W Gandy Boulevard will close daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. until the project is complete, scheduled for Oct. 10.

The city said in a news release that southbound drivers should use alternate routes, such as S MacDill Avenue, until the road work is finished.

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Contact Josh Fiallo at jfiallo@tampabay.com. Follow @ByJoshFiallo.