TAMPA, Fla. — A growing community calling for changes to their roadways will soon see improvements.
The City of Tampa has outlined steps planned for K-Bar Ranch Parkway, as a city councilman has pushed for upgrades.
“This is a growing community. We continue to build homes out here and we need to have infrastructure that whether it’s transportation or public safety that corresponds with that new building,” said Tampa City Councilman Luis Viera.
Viera said speeding and confusion as to whether the road was one-way have been issues. After leaving a community meeting on traffic issues, he experienced them firsthand.
“I came down with some notes on basic things that we can do and one of them was on K-Bar Ranch Parkway there needed to be better more explicit striping because they said there was the threat of head-on collisions,” Viera said. “Well soon as I leave the meeting, about five minutes later, I’m driving with my son in the car and what do you know, somebody almost plows right into me.”
He said the issues on the road called for immediate attention.
Tampa’s Mobility Department said they’re enhancing the roadway markings and installing a new crosswalk at Laurel Vista Way by K-Bar Ranch Parkway. The team is also studying the potential for an all-way stop at that intersection, as well as other improvements for speed management like narrowing the land widths and adding 30 mph signs.
The department is also looking at other traffic calming opportunities for the corridor through the city’s mobility plan, Tampa MOVES.
“My longer-term plan has to do with infrastructure in this area. This is a growing community. We continue to build homes out here and we need to have infrastructure that whether it’s transportation or public safety that corresponds with that new building,” said Viera, who also wants to see a new fire station.
The city said it’s collecting data and considering the needs of each neighborhood for fire rescue services.
Two deadly crashes over the last several years moved some residents to speak out about the needs they saw for roadway improvements, including Britney Deas.
“I feel safe most of the time but when you have that instance when a car is driving on the wrong side of the road and it’s coming onto you that’s when you realize OK maybe I’m not as safe as I think I am,” she said.
Deas explained her concerns included the markings on the roadways and the need for lighting or reflectors.
“If you live here you know how the road operates but if you don’t it’s dangerous. But this is kind of public so we kind of need it to be easily understandable for everyone,” Deas said.
Deas said the changes in the works were a great thing.
“Constituents are upset rightfully so. Constituents are concerned, rightfully so. And the change lawmakers are actually doing something about it that’s exactly what should happen," she explained.