Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Dubious Distinction For Tampa

If you think it's dangerous to ride a bicycle in the Tampa Bay area consider the perils of the oldest form of transportation: walking. Tampa Bay ranks as the SECOND most dangerous place to walk in the country, according to a report released Monday.

Places that are dangerous to walk or ride a bicycle do not thrive as quality-of-life communities and there are economic consequences for cities such as Tampa that are not committed to building adequate infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. People do not use businesses as much as they would if it's unsafe to bike or walk to them.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio is a nice lady who says all the right things publicly, but the bottom line is that she has failed to financially support public works-transportation projects that would make Tampa a safe place to walk and ride a bicycle. She gets an F for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

Kudos to Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe who posted the pedestrian report on Facebook. Sharpe -- along with Tampa City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena -- is the only politician in Hillsborough County who understands that cities only flourish when they embrace, design and build infrastructure that accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users -- and not just cars.

7 comments:

Chip said...

Yesterday a security guard patrolling the parking lot at Int'l Plaza Mall told me I couldn't lock my bike along a guard rail-even though it was not in anyone's way. He said I had to lock it by the loading dock at a hotel next door. I found no place to lock it there. The guard agreed it was absurd the mall had no bike rack. He said several security guards have requested bike racks to mall management, but w no success. Maybe a project for SWIFTBUD ?

SWFBUD said...

That's pathetic. I will look into this. Alan.

Gordon said...

I think there are bike racks in the parking garage on the north side near Bay Street.

peep said...

Our elementary school gives motorists the right of way over pedestrians. On school property! Just last week the school called the police about my "reckless pedestrianism". In discussing/debating with the TPD officer about who should have right of way in crosswalks on and around school property, I mentioned that Tampa had faired very poorly in a number of independent studies of ped safety during the last 15 years. He denied that and said Tampa was safe for pedestrians. We got a problem here...

Anonymous said...

In Tampa, public policy is shaped to give cars all the rights. It's that simple. We need government leaders who will value pedestrians and bicyclists.

Anonymous said...

And a Public Works department that doesn't view
cyclists and pedestrians as nothing more than inconveniences.
Alan, do you have a link to the report (or could you post it) ?

GhostRider said...

Anon 7:55 -- the link to the report is already contained within Alan's article.