On Tuesday, January 27, Hillsborough County and the Florida Department of Transportation helped celebrate the completion of the Fletcher Avenue Complete Streets safety project. The event was open to the public and featured Hillsborough County Commissioners Victor Crist and Kevin Beckner, as well as Major James Burton from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Representatives from the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation and Research (CUTR) were also on hand with “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow” safety campaign materials. There was even a spirited appearance by USF cheerleaders and their mascot, Rocky the Bull. Ron Chin, District Seven Traffic Operations Engineer, also took part in the celebration, speaking on the importance of bicycle and pedestrian safety projects and FDOT’s contribution to helping make the Fletcher Avenue Complete Streets project possible.
“This truly was a team effort,” Chin said. “It’s wonderful that all of these different agencies could come together for the common goal of improving bicycle and pedestrian safety along this very busy stretch of road in Tampa.”
As the press conference came to a close, officials were invited to walk across the newly installed signalized crosswalk on Fletcher Avenue to welcome a new era of safe travels for pedestrians and bicyclists. Now that the safety project is complete, officials hope it will prevent crashes and most importantly, save lives.
The $5 million Complete Streets project in Tampa re-engineered an area of high pedestrian use on Fletcher Avenue between Nebraska Avenue and 50th Street to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The project was completed with the help of $3 million in Federal Highway Administration safety funds through the Florida Department of Transportation. Safety improvements on Fletcher Avenue included five mid-block pedestrian crossings incorporating first-of-its-kind overhead warning beacon installations, one mid-block pedestrian crossing with a traffic signal, raised concrete pedestrian refuge islands, raised concrete traffic separators, energy efficient LED street lighting in the medians, additional sidewalks near the University of South Florida, upgraded handicap access ramps at crossings and intersections, and a reduced speed limit of 35 miles per hour. An additional 1.5 miles of marked bicycle lanes also created a three-mile continuous segment along Fletcher Avenue between Nebraska Avenue and 50th Street.