The Hillsborough County MPO developed the first Comprehensive Bicycle Plan in 1978. Since then, new data has become available, new projects have been built, new laws and funding programs have been adopted, and land use and development patterns have evolved.
For example, in 2005 new federal legislation known as the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) was enacted into law. The new law and subsequent implementing regulations put a much stronger emphasis on safety. In response, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) developed a Strategic Highway Safety Plan that identified bicyclists among those classified as “vulnerable road users.” The state’s Safety Plan sets out effective safety counter-measures and strategic investments as objectives. As another example, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recently approved a $500 million bond issue to fund a number of transportation projects. These will present an opportunity for better bicycle connections.
The purpose of the 2008 update is to take such changes into account and specifically identify:
- Needs based on generators and attractors of bicycle trips;
- Bicycling conditions both on and off the major road system;
- Costs to implement projects and programs; and
- Federal, state, and local requirements and preferences.