Enhancing bike lanes on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa

08/22/11 Olivia Kabat
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One important part of the transportation network for any city is safe and easy access for bicyclists. Tampa has begun enhancing bike lanes on Bayshore Boulevard between Rome Avenue and the Davis Island Bridge.

There are many more phases to go, but this large construction project is working to establish a safe traffic system and new bicycle lanes on Bayshore Boulevard. According to Alan Snel, Director of Southwest Bicycle United Dealers, or swift-bud, the Bayshore Bike Lane Enhancements Project will improve the overall safety in the area for both motorists and bicyclists.

“There is an effort by the city to make the roads more hospitable and friendly for all kinds of road users, not just motorized vehicles. Since this road really is one of the center piece roads to the city I think it’s an excellent move to make the road as friendly and inviting to as many different kind of users as possible.”

Safety comes first and Snel says this project will allow people to safely bike down Bayshore without the worry of fast-moving cars and oncoming traffic.

“In the casual bicyclist community they do fear cars. I think they fear cars because they feel there’s not proper space on the roadway for bicyclists and they also fear that the motorists will not properly share the road with bicyclists. So if you create bike lanes, I think it will create an environment where more bicyclists will feel more secure about biking on Bayshore.”

Jean Dorzback, Tampa’s transportation manager, says the Bayshore Bike Enhancements phase will cost a little over $1.2 million dollars, but the positive outcome will be worth it. Traffic problems due to construction could be an issue, but by putting in new bicycle lanes, pedestrian crosswalk enhancements, and left turn lanes for the northbound traffic, this will make the Bayshore area a safe and welcoming place.

“We’ve had positive feedback from it. We’ve presented this to neighborhood groups and the bicycle groups are very supportive as well. It’s always inconvenient when the construction is going on but I believe everyone is going to feel that it was worth that inconvenience and their going to be pleased with the result when we get it all done.”

Now, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists will all have their own designated areas to travel. The first phase is already underway and it is expected to be finished in October of this year.

City of Tampa Transportation

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This is absolutely absurd. Why as a City are we spending any money on something so insignificant?. The bikers already have a massive sidewalk to ride on and share with other pedestrians. Some of us rely on Bayshore to quickly and conveniently get us to work and not only does the construction work delay us this new found glory for the bicyclists will delay us even more. What the City should be worried about is the excessive flooding in south Tampa during large storms. You cant ride a bike through bayshore on a bad storm but some of us still need to travel at that time.