Enhancing bike lanes on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa listen08/22/11 Olivia Kabat
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:
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.
â€œThere 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 itâ€™s an excellent move to make the road as friendly and inviting to as many different kind of users as possible.â€
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.
â€œIn the casual bicyclist community they do fear cars. I think they fear cars because they feel thereâ€™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.â€
Jean Dorzback, Tampaâ€™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.
â€œWeâ€™ve had positive feedback from it. Weâ€™ve presented this to neighborhood groups and the bicycle groups are very supportive as well. Itâ€™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.â€
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.