February 2019 – With Florida topping the list as the nation’s deadliest state for pedestrians in the new report Dangerous by Design, you may be wondering what work is being done here at home to turn these alarming statistics around.
All four local governments, as well as FDOT, have a goal of zero traffic fatalities. Working together through the MPO, they have made safety a top priority for funding new projects. As a result, $38 million in new state and federal grant dollars have recently been allocated to safety projects such as complete streets and walk/bike facilities as highlighted in FDOT’s Five-Year Work Program presentation to the MPO Board.
In addition, our county’s voters approved a 1¢ sales tax that will provide $44 million each year specifically for safety projects. The MPO’s Imagine 2040 Transportation Plan forecasts a crash reduction of up to 50% with that level of funding, bringing our crash rates more in line with peer cities. More information on the 2040 crash forecast, how to get there, and recent trends are available on our web site.
And last month, the MPO Board decided to take on an ambitious and comprehensive study of severe-crash areas in our county to better address speed management. Speed is a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in the U.S.
It will take time to turn our trends around, but we are making headway. There is a strong coalition – including local government engineers and planners, law enforcement, educators, health professionals, and many community-minded volunteers – tackling this important work. The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, but the next best time is right now. We invite you to get involved with Hillsborough’s Vision Zero Coalition and help us make a difference.
Learn more about our Vision Zero Action Plan. Because ZERO is the right number.