MPO looks at reconfiguration of Columbus Drive

Columbus road proposalThe MPO, IN PARTNERSHIP with the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County, is looking closely at Columbus Drive and 17th/18th/19thAvenues. These corridors are currently one-way pairs through Ybor City and East Tampa. Scheduled for resurfacing soon, local residents and business owners wanted to see if the roads could be transformed during the resurfacing to better meet the needs of the neighborhood.

The study looks specifically at the feasibility of returning Columbus Drive and 17th/18th/19th Avenues (from Republica de Cuba to 40th Street) to two-way operations. This could include adding on-street parking and bicycle facilities where possible.

Community OutreachIn the data-gathering stage, it appeared that a majority of traffic currently on these corridors could be shifted to Columbus Drive without significantly degrading traffic flow. This would allow the already more neighborhood-focused 17th/18th/19th Avenues to improve the environment for walking and cycling with slower traffic and possibly a protected bikeway.

A public open house was held September 17th at the beautiful Academy Prep School on Columbus Drive. The turnout was excellent! Long-time residents, new homeowners, and business owners all came together with a similar passion for their neighborhood and the desire to see it improve even more. The open house set up was an effective way for attendees to share their views. People drew on aerial maps, left sticky notes, and filled out a survey. Their thoughts and concerns will now be compiled and reviewed to get an idea if there is consensus on how to proceed.

Recommendations will be developed over the next couple of months and shared with the public before being finalized and presented to the MPO and local governments.  For more information  visit the Columbus Drive Corridor Redesign website.

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