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Are Bicyclists and Pedestrians Safe in the Westchase Area?

The Florida Department of Transportation is targeting Hillsborough County in an effort to increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

With more than 16 pedestrian and eight bicyclist deaths already in 2012, Hillsborough is on track to match or even top 2011 when 30 pedestrians died on county roadways.

The Waters Avenue corridor ranks as the most deadly road for pedestrians and bicyclist in the county with 10 fatalities happening over the past five years.

That’s why the Florida Department of Transportation and local law enforcement are taking action to curb those numbers. FDOT launched “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow … Safety Doesn’t Happen By Accident” earlier this month. The public service campaign is designed to raise awareness about the need for pedestrian and bicycle safety on Florida’s roads.

In addition, Hillsborough County Commissioners have included $8.6 million in road improvements in the pending 2013 Capital Improvement budget to make pedestrians and bicyclists safer in the county.

Among those projects are improvements to the Sheldon Road and Waters Avenue intersection for rebuilding turning lanes, sidewalks and street markings.

"This is a comprehensive list of road improvement projects," said Commissioner Kevin Beckner at a recent budget workshop. "If the Sheriff were to come into this boardroom and said that we had a countywide public safety issue that needed to be addressed and we need resources, this board has always supported the sheriff and public safety has always been job one of this commission."

The Florida Department of Transportation initiative includes two major components:

  • Public service announcements highlighting the need for pedestrian/bicycle safety;
  • A law enforcement component that involves officers citing motorists and pedestrians alike for violating rights of way and other traffic regulations.

For more information visit the website: http://www.alerttodayflorida.com/

Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners will hold Final Budget hearings on Wednesday, Sept. 12, and Thursday, Sept. 20, on the 2nd floor of County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., in downtown Tampa. After the Sept. 20 Public Hearing, Commissioners will adopt the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget.

Robert Sands August 07, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Awareness of bikers and pedestrians is critical, but I have noticed a level of expectation on their part where it appears that they feel they own the road and vehicles are second class citizens. This is a dangerous presumption on their part, given the general distractedness of today's dirvers.
Nick August 08, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Are bicyclists and Pedestrians safe in the Westchase area??? HELL NO! You would think for the homeonwer fees, CDD fees and taxes we pay they would put a trail in the area or something. I used to run everyday on Countryway and Linebaugh but now am forced to run on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail weeknights. Running on Countryway all the idiots pulling out at the stop signs DO NOT STOP. And the other half are texting so they dont even see you. I almost got hit by a guy pulling out of 7-11 and he was yelling at me because I didnt make way for his stupid green camaro. UGH!!
Tim Mulligan August 08, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Is that a photo of a Door Zone Bike Lane? It sure looks like a parking space to the right. Is that meant to be an example of what the county initiative is going to provide? I hope not.
Nicole Hutcheson August 09, 2012 at 09:41 AM
Hi Tim, yes it is a door zone bike lane, however it's not meant to look like the county initiative.

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