We recently wrote about Tampa’s reputation of being friendly to bicyclists and pedestrians on our blog, and now we have more news to share! On Tuesday, Tampa unveiled the MOVES initiative, our first citywide mobility plan. This exciting development has been 3 years in the making and aims to improve road conditions, make local streets safer, and lessen traffic congestion. We can’t wait to see this plan unfold, but we know many local residents have questions about how it will affect our roads.
What does the MOVES mobility plan include?
The $2-billion project seeks to improve local roads by:
- repair local roads
- add bicycle lanes to many major roadways
- more public parking
- building new crosswalks
- filling in sidewalk gaps
Each of these projects makes our roads more accessible to Tampa residents and visitors. Not only does the initiative make our city safer, but it also promotes a greener approach to transportation. The provisions within the plan encourage travel by bicycle or on foot rather than always taking a car for inter-city errands, socializing, or work. The mobility director, Vik Bihde, said when interviewed: “80% of respondents said they would like to walk or bike more. This is for various reasons. It’s good for health. It’s good for the environment. But it’s also a low-cost way to get around.”
How will it make Tampa’s roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists?
The MOVES initiative incorporates a variety of safety measures into its plans for Tampa roads. A few highlights include:
Road repairs and sidewalk improvements for pedestrians
In addition to basic repairs like road resurfacing, roads will be evaluated for potholes, cracks, and other disrepair. Accidents frequently happen when drivers attempt to avoid hitting these areas, and instead veer off and hit a nearby pedestrian. Repairing our streets is the first step toward safer conditions for those on foot or on bicycles. Sidewalks will also be repaired as needed, and gaps will be filled to allow for more uninterrupted foot traffic. Finally, new crosswalks will be implemented throughout Tampa for safer crossing by those on foot, in wheelchairs, or on bikes.
Addition of bicycle lanes
Bicycle lanes are an important part of safety in any big city. Until now, Tampa has not invested in widespread bicycle lanes on major roads. The MOVES plan allows for bicycle lanes (some of which have already been completed) to be placed alongside Tampa’s roads. This allows easier travel on bikes without the risk of riding among vehicles during heavy traffic.
Solving parking problems
Public parking causes significant stress for many Tampa drivers. Some areas, specifically Ybor City, have very little parking in comparison to the amount of foot traffic. These areas are popular with locals and visitors alike as they have delicious restaurants, pop-up markets, and events. They’re a piece of Florida culture! New public parking areas (like parking on Avenida de Cuba!) make it easier for people to enjoy their favorite Tampa hot spots without attempting dangerous parallel parking or risking getting towed from an unspecified lot. We hope that the MOVES initiative will continue to take away some of the parking stress experienced in our city, especially on the weekends!
Relieving traffic congestion on local streets
Traffic is a way of life in Tampa, especially when your commute involves time on Interstate 4, Interstate 75, or Veteran’s Expressway. The heavy traffic has spilled over into local neighborhoods and communities of Tampa, and the MOVES plan seeks to alleviate some of that traffic. By lessening congestion, local traffic experts hope the likelihood of accidents will go down and pedestrian traffic will go up as people feel safer on foot.
When will the MOVES initiative be completed?
While the MOVES plan spans 30 years, there are multiple “quick builds” starting in the near future. Some, like additional parking in Ybor City and several bike lanes, are already completed and in use. Look at the full plan, and you’ll see that our city is building infrastructure to make life on the road safer for current residents and allow room for growth in the years to come.
Our team is excited to see the Tampa MOVES plan enacted and we look forward to watching the progress on our local roads. As advocates for preventing bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Tampa Bay, and promoting safety on the road, we are huge supporters of this initiative. Have you or someone you love suffered injuries in a collision with a vehicle while on foot or on your bicycle? Call our office to schedule your free consultation. Let us focus on fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve while you focus on healing and moving forward after your accident. We’re here to help Tampa victims by providing compassionate, personal legal representation. You don’t pay unless we win, so you can trust us to only give you our best.
Stay tuned for more news about Tampa MOVES as we see work begin throughout our area!