TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa city leaders are working on major changes to Ashley Drive in Downtown Tampa. The plan is to transform the road from what is essentially a freeway ramp into a multimodal boulevard. The updates are set to make Ashley Drive safer for pedestrians and add a boost for local businesses.
Ashley Drive currently exists as a freeway ramp from I-275 into Downtown Tampa.
Cars are often speeding off the ramp into a busy area of Ashley Drive full of people walking.
The City of Tampa’s Mobility Department, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Transportation, is now looking to make Ashley Drive into a boulevard.
Some of the changes include lowering speeds for cars coming off the ramp and making it easier to cross the street with new crossings.
City leaders say they want to shift the perception of this corridor for drivers.
"As you're entering and exiting the interstate, you still feel like you're on that interstate,” said Danni Jorgenson, P.E., AICP. Chief Transportation Planning Engineer at City of Tampa in a meeting of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization. “We want to make this corridor more walkable, bikeable, and safe."
City leaders also say this will improve access to the Hillsborough River in North Downtown Tampa.
For drivers who use Ashley Drive to get on the freeway, that won’t change under these updates. There will still be access to and from I-275.
These changes will also create additional parcels of land in Downtown Tampa for development.
The City of Tampa is still reaching out to the community to see what they would like to see on Ashley Drive. You are welcome to share your thoughts about the corridor with city leaders.
A timeline for this project has yet to be finalized.