BAYSHORE TASK FORCE WRAPS UP - Mitch Perry

07/21/04

A Task Force named by Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio to recommend ways to make Bayshore Boulevard safer wrapped up their last scheduled meeting today, and will now forward to the Mayor their list of suggestions.

Among the recommendations the Task Force will submit include reducing the Speed Limit to 35 miles perhour, downsizing the 6 lanes of traffic to 4, and there would be fewer openings in Bayshore's median.

The Task Force was convened back in February by Mayor Iorio after the death of a jogger - Melissa McKenzie ..., who was the 3rd pedestrian to die along the Bayshore in the past year.....

Meeting for the final time at Kate Jackson Park in Tampa's Hyde Park,

Tampa City Councilman John Dingfelder said that among the recommendations, the one he's been hearing the most criticism about is dropping the Speed Limit

(roll tape#1 o.q."more pleasant experience")

The other major change could be converting the Bayshore from 6 lanes to 4....Councilman Dingfelder says that change will enhance the recreational aspect of the

Roadway (roll tape#2 o.q."pedestrian areas")

Steve Dagnault is the Administrator for Public Works and Utility Services for the city of Tampa, and the Task Force's Chairman. He expressed satisfaction with how the Task Force has gone about it's work in the past half year. As to what happens next , however, Dagnault said he had no insight into Mayor Iorio (roll tape#3 o.q."done real quick")

All of the neighborhood associations that consider the 4 ½ mile Bayshore part of their community were part of the Task Force.....Virginia Parks Association President John Weis says many of the recommendations are to enhance safety and enjoyment of the road

(roll tape#4 o.q."motorists as well")

Among the 35 different suggested proposals include adding and/or widening sidewalks, adding stoplights at Swann, Platt and possibly Euclid Avenues - as well as at Howard and Bay to Bay Boulevards, which already have stoplights, but not for Northbound traffic

Tampa Police Officer Jon Bennett has been a prescence at each BayShore Task Force Meeting. He says the TPD is prepared to absorb any changes made by the City to make the Bayshore safer for pedestrians and drivers - and hopes the community is as prepared

Roll tape#5 o.q. "Make sure it all gels")

Vicki Pollyea is from the Bayshore Gardens Association is hopeful that community meetings to improve the Bayshore won't end, now that the Task Force's work has come to its conclusion (roll tape#6 o.q."as the end right now")

The Recommendations now will go to Mayor Iorio....City Councilman John Dingfelder also suggested that a presentation be made before City Council, so the public will have a greater understanding of the proposals.

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