bikers travel alongside Riverwalk in Tampa on a sunny day

If you spend any amount of time in or around Tampa Bay, you’ll see that we have plenty of bicylists on our local roads. Unfortunately, we also have many bicycle accidents in Tampa. This leaves traffic experts on a continuous journey of making our roads safer for pedestrians and protecting our many bicyclists.

Why are bikes so popular around Tampa Bay?

There are several key reasons people opt for two wheels instead of four in Central Florida, including:

Our Weather

Florida experiences, on average, over 260 sunny days each year. That, paired with our warm, sub-tropical climate, means every day feels like glorious summer. Why would you not want to experience the fresh air and sunshine?

Tampa’s Urban Layout

Tampa itself has plenty of urban sprawl, with many areas densely covered by shopping centers, apartment complexes and neighborhoods, restaurants, entertainment venues, and more. That means easier commuting via bicycle or on foot. Thanks to the urbanized environment, pedestrians have an easier time getting where they need to go.

Less Expense

It’s no secret, the cost of gas has skyrocketed in recent years. That, paired with the cost of vehicles (and vehicle maintenance) continuing to rise, makes owning a bike far less expensive. Choosing a bike means less strain on your budget. You can even cancel your gym membership thanks to all that physical exercise going to and from work!

Environmental Concerns

If going green is your thing, a bike is a great place to start. No emissions, no battery…what’s not to love?

Unfortunately, choosing a bike does come with risks, primarily that of being involved in an accident with a vehicle. This is especially true in Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough is addressing bicycle accidents in Tampa.

With Hillsborough County’s new “bicycle boxes” we’re hopeful that the ever-present risk of bicycle accidents will shrink.

It’s estimated that up to 5% of motor vehicle fatalities in Florida involve cyclists. That leaves us with the highest rate of bicycle accident deaths in the nation according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A significant number of those accidents happen in and around the Tampa area, primarily because of our population density, continued growth, and excessive traffic.

Many of the bicycle accidents in Tampa occur around intersections, especially when the bicyclist is attempting a lefthand turn. This is due to lack of visibility, as traditional bike lanes are on the far righthand side of the road. Bicyclists are forced to turn alongside moving lanes of traffic as they make the turn, in addition to crossing in front of oncoming traffic. That’s double the risk of collision, and frequently results in bikes being hit during these turns.

Due to these collisions, Hillsborough County’s Citrus Park Extension put forth the idea in 2022 to implement “bike boxes” at major intersections around Tampa Bay. They proposed that the boxes worked well to curb accidents in cities out west, and could benefit Tampa pedestrians.

What are “bike boxes” and how will they protect Tampa bicyclists?

Bike boxes are designed to make bicyclists more visible when preparing to go through an intersection. Painted bright green, they’re easy to spot! Bob Campbell, Hillsborough County’s

graphic showing how bike boxes are set up at a basic intersection with a lefthand turn

Bike boxes are easy to spot at intersections!

Transportation Planning manager says:

“Every time you see green, look out for pedestrians,”

These bike boxes differ from bike lanes in that they aren’t found alongside major roadways, but rather, are located at major intersections. They place bicyclists in front of vehicles instead of beside them.

Bicycle boxes are approved by the FHA, and offer many benefits, including:

  • increased visibility of bicyclists
  • fewer bicycle accidents at intersections
  • safer lefthand turns for bicyclists
  • easier traveling for groups of cyclists
  • safer crosswalks for pedestrians thanks to less traffic encroachment

So far, Tampa Bay has implemented several of these bike boxes at problematic intersections in town. You’ll find them at:

Sheldon Road

Citrus Park Drive

Countryway Boulevard

Experts report that bike boxes reduce accidents by up to 50%. We’re hoping to see those kinds of results with reducing bicycle accidents in Tampa!

Too late for me…who should I call about my bicycle accident?

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you know all too well the struggle of juggling recovery, financial burdens, and the legal stress of holding the at-fault party accountable. Brooks Law Group is here to lift that burden from your shoulders so you can focus on you. We have years of experience representing bicycle accident victims from the Tampa Bay area, providing the support they need throughout the fight for justice and compensation.

You deserve help, and we make sure you get it. Our team fights on your behalf, negotiating a settlement that will ease the struggle and let you heal, recover, and take back your life. Our free consultation, and contingency fee, means you don’t pay a cent unless we win your case. We aim to give you peace of mind that your best interest is always our top priority.

Questions about what we can do to help with your specific circumstances? Reach out to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified attorneys. Our accident lawyers treat you like a neighbor, and you can count on them to give you their best from day one until the case is closed.

When accidents happen, you can always Look to Brooks.