Friday, January 30, 2009

Ghost Rider Writes Tampa About No Bike Lane On Busch Blvd.

Bicycle advocate Jack Sweeney has written a letter to the city of Tampa's public works director, Irvin Lee, regarding the repaving of Busch Blvd. and its lack of a bike lane as part of the repaving.

Dear Mr. Lee,

I was riding around Tampa today when I came across the extensive repaving/restriping project along Busch Blvd., from I-275 east to the Busch Gardens area.

I was dismayed to see that once again, the City of Tampa failed to add any sort of bicycle-friendly infrastructure such as painted bike lanes, to this project. I understand the desire for a smooth road to thrill first-time visitors to the Tampa area as they head toward exciting tourist destinations, but I'm convinced that Tampa could (and SHOULD) do more to make this a more liveable city for the actual residents...

What better time to add a bike lane stripe than during a repaving/restriping project? Also, think of the message a freshly-paved boulevard with painted bike lanes and appropriate "share the road" or "bike route" signage would send to those many tourists: "Tampa is a progressive community that is thinking about alternative transportation forms."

I encourage you and your staff to seriously consider and make efforts to implement the addition of bike lanes and signage during future repaving projects in and around the City of Tampa -- there is a small but growing group of residents who choose to use bicycles as transportation rather than contributing to the motorized traffic our city is plagued with, and we would sure love to see some improvements in the infrastructure available to us.


Jack Sweeney
"Ghost Rider"
Tampa, Florida
Writer/editor --
Seminole Heights Bicycle Club member


Denis A. Baldwin said...

Seems logical to me. I believe while they are redoing the local roads, they should take a number of things into account: bike lanes, middle turn lanes on all major surface streets, carpool lanes on all the freeways... there's so much they can for not a lot more money while they are already re-surfacing these roads.

SWFBUD said...

What's disappointing is that Irvin Lee told me personally that it's hard to retrofit old streets with bike lanes but they can add new bike lanes when they do new paving work yet here's another example of a road job where bicycles are not accounted for. I personally ride this road and I have to constantly remind drivers to give me the required three-foot buffer. If I had a bike lane, that would help.

Enhancement Smoker said...

There is PLENTY of room on Busch Blvd. for bike lanes heading east and west. Just another case of Tampa dropping the ball -- a perfect opportunity missed once again. I think it's time to move!

SWFBUD said...

Yes, Enhancement Smoker, perfectly put! Perhaps you can come to a bicycle group meeting and help us grow bicycling in the Tampa area.