Study identifies dangerous Bay area intersections, proposes solutions

TAMPA BAY - Sitting in traffic can test even the most patient driver, But Tampa bay roads can be quite dangerous too.

A study by the metropolitan planning organization has identified some ways to improve safety and relieve traffic congestion.

On top of that list is a plan to reduce the backup at traffic lights caused by those left turn signals.

"You need time in your traffic light to get all of those folks through on all of the different cycles.  And that takes up a lot of time, and it means you end up sitting and waiting at that traffic light for a really long time," said Beth Alden of Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The study supports a 'quadrant intersection' at some locations like Dale Mabry and Waters where drivers would make right turns to go left, similar to a cloverleaf interchange on a freeway exit.

There's already one serving west-bound traffic Dale Mabry and Busch Blvd.  Other suggestions to improve safety are flyovers at large intersections; and the use of roundabouts, like this one here on 40th Street.

"The Dale Mabry and Waters intersection is a good example of a place where (you) could just sit for a long period of time in traffic," Alden said.

The study suggests that this one and a half mile stretch of Fowler Avenue, from Nebraska to Bruce B. Downs, receive a radical makeover.

"Fowler Ave. has a lot of space," Alden said.

The idea is to have the center median used for mass transit, and reduce the existing eight lanes to six. But each direction would now have an outside lane separated by a divider like a boulevard. This would allow for slower traffic, bicycles and pedestrians to navigate more safely.

"It's the same number of lanes, just arranged a little bit differently to make it safer," he said.

The MPO and Florida Department of Transportation will submit plans for funding so local roads may be less congested while keeping motorists safer.   


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