TAMPA, Fla. — Just weeks after a man and his service dog were hit by a car while crossing a street, changes are being planned for a Seminole Heights intersection.
The City of Tampa plans to install "all-way stop signs" at the intersection of West Henry Avenue and North Ola Avenue; currently there are only stop signs on Ola Ave, which goes North and South.
No date is yet set for the new stop signs to be installed, but other changes to the intersection, such as a new advanced stop ahead warning sign, is already being installed.
The changes to the intersection right next to Henry & Ola Park come just weeks after Mauricio Rosas of Tampa was hurt in a hit-and-run crash as Rosas crossed a road.
Rosas suffered a fractured leg after being hit and then rolled up onto the food of the car that hit him. He says the car then drove away. His dog and spouse narrowly avoided being hit.
Rosas frequently walks in the neighborhood with his service dog which helps him with stability, and Rosas is known for organizing weekly neighborhood "pack walks" with other residents and their dogs.
Speaking to ABC Action News from his hospital bed after his November 12 accident, Rosas said he spends much of his time advocating for safer streets, and for public transportation, and says his accident is a perfect example of why changes are needed.
This intersection in particular was complained about frequently by local residents who say drivers use the area as a cut-through to avoid getting stuck in traffic at the main thoroughfare intersection of N. Florida Avenue and W. Hillsborough Avenue. Local residents say people often speed through the 25 MPH streets.
The City of Tampa had looked at the intersection in the past, but decided no changes were needed at the time.
After Rosas's accident, the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association petitioned the city to take a closer look, and has decided some changes are in order.
In addition to the four-way stop and warning signs, the City of Tampa will upgrade the existing stop sign size, add new all-ways plaques and red bright sticks at the existing stop on Ola Ave at Henry Ave. They will also install a new 25 mph speed limit sign on Henry Ave for east bound travel departing at Ola Ave. In addition they will mark new stop bars and 50' of double yellow centerline on all approaches to the intersection in addition to new special emphasis crosswalks on the west and south legs.
The city is also requesting that the tree canopy along the north side of Henry Ave approaching Ola be trimmed up from the road's surface and back from the edge of the road to enhance the advanced stopping sight distance for the placement of the new stopping condition.
The vehicle that hit Rosas is described as a four door sedan late-model Mazda with a faded-green paint color. The driver who left the scene after the accident has not been identified.