TAMPA, Fla. — Whether it’s Bayshore Boulevard, Columbus Drive, or 15th Street, many of Tampa’s roadways are experiencing a trend that’s being felt nationwide. An increased number of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians are being killed or injured in serious crashes.
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, an estimated 42,915 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2021, which amounted to a 16-year high.
Brandie Miklus, the City of Tampa’s Infrastructure and Mobility Program Coordinator, said the city remains committed to Vision Zero, an overarching goal to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries to zero.
“About 73% of those crashes on our high-injury network occur on only 24% of the roads, so we know it’s something that we can achieve,” Miklus said.
Part of that effort, Miklus said, is a relatively new initiative called Tampa MOVES.
The initiative will serve as the city’s mobility plan and will guide safety improvements over the next 30 years.
“So, it’s going to help set us up — understand — what priorities we want to focus on and help fund for the next 30 years,” explained Miklus.
Miklus said the city began developing the Tampa MOVES plan early last year. Now, after a number of public input sessions, Miklus said the 30-year plan should be complete later this summer.
“We’ve heard from folks, ‘We want to walk more. I want to bike more.’ But they don’t feel comfortable doing so,” Miklus said. “The importance is we have a strategy. We have a strategy and we have a really well-defined vision.”
According to the city’s Vision Zero action plan, MOVES should help the city build more sidewalks and safer crosswalks, install more separated bike lanes, and change dangerous driving behaviors by slowing speeds through various techniques.