Proposed improvements to Spruce Street could better protect cyclists, pedestrians

Plan Hillsborough proposing sidewalks, barriers
Posted at 3:49 PM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 18:31:28-04

Plan Hillsborough is aiming to make Spruce Street much safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially for those who use the street to walk or cycle to work.

"It's a huge problem," said Michael Query, a cyclist on Spruce St. "I don't want to drive."

There's been a concentration of crashes at the intersection of Spruce Street at Dale Mabry Highway and Spruce Street at MacDill Avenue. 

In total, there were zero fatal crashes, 9 incapacitating injury crashes, 20 non?incapacitating injury crashes, and 50 possible injury crashes, according to a Plan Hillsborough report.

"It is a constant war and battle with these people here," Query said.

The most common crash types in the corridor were angle/left?turn crashes and rear?end crashes.

A three?year history of crashes within the corridor was analyzed using data extracted from the Crash Analysis Reporting System (CARS).

During this period, 143 crashes were reported within the corridor. 

In some areas, nearly 12 percent of the workers in this area are walking and biking to work. According to the ACS, approximately 3.9 percent of the workers who live in Tampa walk or bike to work; within the evaluated study area, that percentage is approximately 4.3percent.This is mostly the West Tampa Area. But they're facing crashes, etc.

On Spruce from Dale Mabry to Himes, they want to completely reevaluate the lighting, add a sidewalk, add lane markings, and install a curb/gutter.

And specifically at Dale Mabry and Spruce (crash cluster) planners say multiple drivers using right turn?only as through lane to “jump” queues at intersection causing safety concerns. 

Now, they're proposing right?turn islands to make sure they are only using the right turn only lane as they're supposed to -- better protecting pedestrians and bicyclists.

Plan Hillsborough is recommending these changes to the City of Tampa.

"I think think this would impact the neighborhood in a very positive way," said Hezekiah Santiago, who walks to school in the area.

See the full report and proposals here.