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Deadly crash sparks renewed calls for safety changes along Bayshore Boulevard

Posted at 10:56 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 23:35:21-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- There are renewed calls for safety improvements along Bayshore Boulevard after a bicyclist was killed trying to cross the scenic and popular stretch.

On Saturday, police say a man crossing from Rome Avenue on his bicycle was struck by a motorcycle going north on Bayshore Boulevard, killing both men.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Motorcyclist, bicyclist killed after deadly accident on Bayshore Boulevard

The incident marks five deaths along Bayshore Boulevard in just two years.

"What is is there are more people walking and biking on Bayshore and they need to be accommodated or you’re only going to increase risk," said Emily Hinsdale, board member of Walk Bike Tampa.

Walk Bike Tampa sent a letter to Mayor Jane Castor urging the city to close two lanes along Bayshore during the stay-at-home order.

The letter states in part, "Yesterday’s horrific crash demonstrates (yet again) that Bayshore’s wide travel space and lack of impediments such as traffic lights promotes poor driver behavior in an area with a large number of pedestrians. This conflict is currently exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis: many more pedestrians and fewer cars, allowing for higher rates of vehicular speed."

Mayor Castor said Monday she considered closing a portion of Bayshore down but fears that will encourage more people to congregate in public, potentially violating CDC distancing guidelines.

"While closing certain streets for recreation purposes was considered, it has become clear that doing so would make these streets an attraction for large groups of people at a time when it is more important than ever for all of us to exercise social distancing. We are lucky that so many people can enjoy exercising in their own backyard, on their own streets, and in their own neighborhood—that’s what we should all be doing during this time, not gathering in groups on Bayshore or the Riverwalk."