The MPO has wrapped up a study looking at options for reconfiguring the one-way pair of Florida Avenue and Tampa Street (which becomes Highland Avenue north of Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd). The idea to transform the roadways came from citizens in the midst of rehabilitating homes in the surrounding neighborhoods. They recognized that at times (what planners refer to as “off peak”) the roads carry little traffic; the wide lanes allow cars to drive fast; the lack of bike lanes or complete sidewalks makes getting around unsafe, and without on-street parking the small lot sizes make it difficult for businesses to develop. Then with the completion of Invision Tampa and its identification of Florida/ Tampa/ Highland as important roads for connecting people by bus, bike, or walking from downtown to the north AND as locations for infill development, the MPO took on the challenge of studying what could be done. Working closely with city staff and the FDOT, as these are state roads, a number of alternatives were evaluated for how well they could meet the varied needs these roadways serve.
The most promising design removes one lane in each direction and repurposes that lane for multi-modal or community needs, such as a transit way, on-street parking, or separated bikeway. The study gives the FDOT and City of Tampa a great starting point for moving forward with a more in-depth study which will include engaging the neighborhoods for guidance. Please visit the MPO’s webpage for this study to view presentations and the final report.