Close the Waterside lanes of Bayshore Blvd to Vehicular Traffic

Create a Scenic Byway on the Landside lanes with 25 mph speed limit

 Take Back Bayshore as a Natural Resource for pedestrians, bicyclists, and resilient landscaping that protects our families and communities.


Our Goals:

Weekend Closure

Close Bayshore to Vehicular Traffic from 7 am Saturday -7 pm Sunday.

Central Park in NYC is car-free below 72nd Street. Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC carries over 4-times the weekday traffic volume of Bayshore but is car-free for the weekend. The waterfront route of MLK Drive in Philadelphia is closed to vehicular traffic from 6 am - 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays from April through October. Countless metropolitan cities close major weekday traffic arteries for pedestrian use on the weekends. On a nice weekend day, its not uncommon to count more people on 1 sidewalk than cars across 6 lanes of divided highway. Its time for Tampa to join the ranks of tomorrow’s cities and re-prioritize our streets to serve the people.

Redesign

Create a Waterfront Park with a two-lane 25 mph Scenic Drive.

Bayshore can be so much more than pavement! The Shore of the Bay is our community’s most precious natural resource and the park that lines it should be our most prized public resource. A re-imagined waterfront park can simultaneously be an active place for healthy living, a resilient storm water buffer, and (through alternating use patterns) still function as a major traffic conduit for weekday commutes.


WHY?

Bayshore’s balustrade is our region’s most iconic feature and the geographic and social link between vibrant Tampa communities and our re-energized downtown. Bayshore Blvd is a residential street on which children live and runs adjacent to the city’s linear park trail and greenway.

Bayshore’s identity however has become one of a fatal highway that contributes to our region’s rank as #2 in the nation for pedestrian deaths per capita and the #1 most dangerous place to ride a bicycle in the entire country. This identity stems from the same problem that makes it possible for a car to travel 102 mph along a 1.8 mile span crossed by an estimated 1,546 pedestrians daily – including mothers with strollers – without a single crosswalk:

Bayshore is dangerous by design

Every 3 days there is a crash on Bayshore, resulting in injury once every week. Eleven people have been killed in the last 8 years on Bayshore Blvd as a result of traffic collisions or pedestrian strikes. News of the death of Jessica and Lillia Raubenolt the summer of 2018 reached national news and spawned efforts like this one to support safety changes in the face of tragedy. And yet, year-over-year rise in pedestrian and bike fatalities in Hillsborough County represents a 64% increase since 2011. On Bayshore Blvd there have been 373 total traffic injuries in that time.

The current identity of Bayshore threatens Tampa’s national prominence and is incompatible with the clear trend of people and companies moving to regions that embrace safety, alternative modes of transit, valuation of natural resources, and promotion of public gathering places. A re-imagined Bayshore will capitalize on the new generation of individual and corporate concerns and spur economic development by attracting the next generation of individuals and companies that value health and wellness and seek innovative and environmental solutions to urban design.

A safer, more active Bayshore will also to begin to shift our culture away from one of commuting efficiency above all - at the great expense of our safety, the consequences to the environment, and our connection to our community. Rethinking Bayshore represents our most significant opportunity to garner international acclaim for Tampa’s vision of this great public space and natural resource.

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