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Walk Bike Tampa urges city council to update city code to require new sidewalks with new construction

tampa sidewalks Walk Bike Tampa.jpg
Posted at 5:29 AM, Apr 22, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Walk Bike Tampa, a local nonprofit dedicated to making Tampa's streets safe for pedestrians and bicyclists, is calling on the Tampa City Council to update a section of city code, to ensure new sidewalks are added when new homes and other buildings are built.

They say the current city code provides too many exemptions, which has left the city with over a thousand miles of sidewalk gaps.

So today, they're working with the council on a sidewalk workshop to fix the issue.

Walk Bike Tampa conducted a community walk audit back in November. They took a closer look at just how many sidewalk gaps there are within the city.

Their results show 1,300 miles of gaps, and only about six miles of new sidewalk funded per year through taxes and city budgets.

They say that's not keeping up with the amount of new construction happening within the city and the reasoning they say is that the current city code provides at least eight exemptions to sidewalk installation with new construction.

As an example, they cited a neighborhood in Tampa where three new homes were built just a few blocks from a school and a park, but the new builds came without new sidewalks.

Walk Bike Tampa presented their audit information to the Tampa City Council back in February. They received support from several city council members.

That's what brought them to where they are today, holding a workshop with the Tampa City Council in hopes of addressing the issues.

Walk Bike Tampa hopes that today the council will stand by its previous statements and move forward with requiring sidewalk installation with new construction, without exemptions.

You can read the full audit information from Walk Bike Tampa here:

Tampa City Council agenda: