Walk Bike News – February 2015 : MPO, County & Tampa collaborate to redesign the Columbus Drive corridor

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The MPO, City of Tampa, and Hillsborough County came together to study the potential reconfiguration of the one-way pairs of Columbus Drive and 17th/18th/19th Avenues (between 14th and 40th Street) to two-way traffic, at the request of citizens and business owners in the area.

At a workshop held last September, the public said loud and clear that the two-way configuration should be studied to help reduce speeding, eliminate wrong-way driving, provide on-street parking, and give an economic boost to local businesses. A traffic analysis showed that there will be little or no difference in travel time on either road if changed to two-way. Cost estimates were prepared for resurfacing and striping the roads, putting up new traffic signals and signs, decorative lighting, and landscaping.

Last month, there was another great turn-out of residents and businesspeople at a second public meeting about the draft recommendations. Many in the neighborhood supported the study and are interested in seeing the recommendations move forward.

A first phase of work is slated for next year, when Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa will work together to add on-street parking while the roads are resurfaced. Though the roads will continue to be one-way, some lanes will shift, and as a result, painting a solid centerline should be relatively easy when additional funding is identified for new traffic signals.

For more information, visit the Columbus Drive Corridor Redesign project page or contact Gena Torres at 813/273-3774 x357 or torresg@plancom.org. A big thank you to Academy Prep for hosting the public meetings!

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