BAYSHORE TASK FORCE GETS DOWN TO NITTY GRITTY - Mitch Perry05/26/04
Today the Bayshore Task Force met again to get closer to providing a set of recommendations that they will forward to Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio on how to make Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard safer for pedestrians.
The Task Force was convened back in February by Mayor Iorio after the death of a jogger - Melissa McKenzie ....McKenzie was the 3rd pedestrian to die along the Bayshore in the past year.....
This morning the TaskForce met at Kate Jackson Park in Tampa's Hyde Park, where among other items that they came to consensus on was placing Signal Lights -which are currently in place - at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Howard Avenue..
There is also consensus on placing a street light for northbound traffic at the Bayshore and Platt intersection.
Steve Dagnault is the Administrator for Public Works and Utility Services for the City of Tampa, and the Task Force's Chairman. He says another major change that the Task Force has agree to is to have Bayshore's North end reduced from 6 lanes to 4, if the City receives funding for it (roll tape#1 o.q."that grant application") Although the Task Force came to agreement rather quickly on their first page of desired changes, which also include placing sidewalks on the West Side Of Bayshore to the extent possible, on their second page of issues there was considerable discussion.
Jeanie Holton Carufel is the President of the Historic Hyde Park Association, and a programmer on WMNF...She said that on some issues, the various members of the Task force do NOT see eye to eye (roll tape#2 o.q."speak to that ")
John Weiss of the Virginia Park Residential Neighborhood Association discussed the ignominious statistic that Tampa ranks 3rd in the nation in being the most unsafe area for pedestrians in the Country, and says he hopes to conduct a Public Awareness Campaign to address the issues of speeding, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and other issues.
(roll tape#3 o.q."not acceptable")
With all the discussion of signs and more lights, City Councilman John Dingfelder wondered aloud whether the recommendations could make the Bayshore more like one of Tampa's most loathed roads - Dale Mabry Highway.
Vicky Polleya is President of Bayshore Neighborhood Association ..She says she hopes the recommendations make it just the opposite of Dale Mabry (roll tape#4 o.q."leaning towards") Bayshore Task Force leader Steve Dagnault says it will be tough to come to consensus, but remains confident before a report is presented to Mayor Iorio on how to improve safety conditions for those who recreate along the Bayshore (roll tape#5 o.q."
As we need to")
The Task Force hopes to come up with final resolution early this summer.