August 2017 – Boat slow speed zones can be adopted by ordinance of the Tampa City Council. The Tampa Cruis-A-Cade Club (TCCC) has met with representatives of the City and is seeking support for the new slow speed zone. The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board’s Technical Advisory Council (TAC) heard a presentation from Cruis-A-Cade on their proposal at their regular meeting of June 20 and will again discuss this proposal at their August 15 regular meeting.
The Tampa Cruis-A-Cade Club has docks on the Hillsborough River near the North Boulevard Bridge. The TCCC dues paying members have access to the river to launch power boats and dragon boats. Cruis-A-Cade contends that high-speed boats in their area of the river create an unsafe environment to launch, load, or unload at their boat docks and ramp and are requesting a new slow speed zone in this area to address this. Their monthly cruise events are typically on the weekend when traffic is the highest. Additionally, there has been an increase in activity of canoes and kayaks along this portion of the waterway, as they traverse north and south on the river from the Sail Pavilion to Waterworks Park.
There is a growing focus on river-based development and activities downtown. After the completion of construction of the Armature Works, the first phase plans of The Heights river-front development include an apartment-and-retail building named The Pearl and an expanded Tampa Riverwalk to The Heights. The Riverwalk extension will include a snack bar and rental office for bikes, paddle boards, and kayaks.