Meeting of the minds: Livable Roadways & Community Traffic Safety hold joint workshop

FDOT MPO combined workshopMore than 40 diverse safety professionals and advocates attended the first ever FDOT Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) and the  MPO Livable Roadways Committee workshop on November 5th. The workshop was moderated by City of Tampa Councilwoman Lisa Montelione, and CTST Chair Jamie Sweeney, DKS Associates.The synergy of talent, resources and opportunities for collaboration became apparent as attendees learned about each other.

The workshop focused on the 3E’s:  engineering, education, and enforcement. The group heard presentations on each:

Engineering: Frank Kalpakis, Renaissance Planning Group, presented FDOT’s draft Freight Roadway Design Considerations (FRDC). Participants heard about the Tampa Bay Goods Movement Strategic Plan and one of the implementing strategies striving to balance livability and freight in a context sensitive manner. Members inquired about next steps and how local jurisdictions could apply the design considerations on local roadways. For more information. visit: www.tampabayfreight.com

Education: Andrea Roshaven, Community Relations Coordinator with Hillsborough County, spoke about the “Fletcher Avenue Complete Streets Marketing Campaign” followed by Julie Bond with USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, who presented “Fletcher Avenue: A Community-Based Social Marketing Framework.” The presenters shared perspectives on the effective partnership these projects have used for educating walkers on the new safety features such as Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons. They also covered existing pedestrian and bicycle laws and about the approach in making pedestrian safety including: (WalkWise) presentations, distributing brochures, displaying posters, and promoting a video throughout the Fletcher Ave corridor. The attendees received copies of a bilingual “Hey I’m Walking Here!” brochure. For more information go to:www.hillsboroughcounty.org/CrossSafe

Enforcement:Sgt. George Edmiston and Tindale-Oliver Associates highlighted Law Enforcement’s Role in Improving Pedestrian/Bike Safety. Their focus is on education and warnings first. When they do resort to citations, they range from $49.50 in Hillsborough County to $62.50 in Pinellas County. He noted that approximately 75% go unpaid and gave an example of recent fatality with ten unpaid citations in his pocket. Part of the education efforts include distribution of education cards in the field at crosswalks, transit stops, and midblock crossings. The attendees received an example of a Pedestrian Warning card. Attendees commended the graphics illustrating the effect lighting and speed has on the field of vision.

Rhonda Grimes with FDOT presented an add-on topic: “Actions to Mitigate Wrong Way Driving Crashes.” Attendees received an overview of the FDOT’s statistics and action plan to address recent fatalities in District 7. Short-range actions include maintenance of existing signs, installation of new signs, and pavement markings. Longer term actions include high tech solutions such as radar, motion-activated, flashing warning beacons that will alert drivers going the wrong way, and then signal the Florida Highway Patrol and other drivers via overhead messaging signs on the Interstates. FDOT is seeking approval of FHWA for these technologies. One attendee mentioned the possible development of an app that communicates DMS messages directly to your car screen.

For more information on the CTST go to the website at www.d7ctst.org or contact Stephen Benson, Stephen.Benson@dot.state.fl.us (CTST). For more information on the LRC go to www.planhillsborough.org/bike-ped-livable-roads/ or contact Lisa Silva, silval@plancom.org (LRC).

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