Jul 27, 2023 - Development

Inside Tampa's multibillion-dollar mobility plan

Illustration of a pedestrian crossing sign with a dollar sign.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Wall Street Journal came to Tampa recently, and walked away with head-scratching praise for the city's walkability, tipping their hat to our downtown for being especially "welcoming to saunterers and cyclists."

Yes, but: City officials disagree. And last week, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced a multibillion-dollar mobility plan β€” Tampa MOVES β€” to make the city safer to drive, ride bikes and walk.

Why it matters: The ambitious plan aims to achieve milestones like zero roadway deaths, 15-minute or less commutes and half of all commuters walking, biking or taking transit by 2050.

Details: The plan highlights critical issues plaguing Tampa, from road fatalities to traffic congestion. An average of 54 people died on the city's roads, and 224 people suffered life-altering injuries in crashes, between 2018 and 2022.

  • Meanwhile, about 10% of major streets in Tampa "have bicycle facilities that are comfortable and suitable for all riders," according to city data.

What they're saying: "With Tampa MOVES, we will make significant progress in communities that lack comfortable and reliable ways to get around by foot and bike." Castor said in a statement.

Zoom in: City officials surveyed residents across Tampa over the last two years to hear their mobility challenges. They also held community focus group meetings and town halls to inform the plan.

  • Residents in New Tampa expressed interest in more sidewalks, while bicyclists in downtown Tampa were concerned about poor pavement condition in their lanes. Others wanted better transit options.

Here's a round-up of the plan's priorities:

  • The city plans to invest more money to maintain Tampa's transportation infrastructure.
  • It will also seek to expand sidewalks on high-speed streets, build more crosswalks and ADA-compliant curb ramps, and develop a bicycle network across the city.
  • Officials will also aim to leverage technology β€” including synchronized traffic signals β€” to manage and ultimately reduce congestion.

What's next: With an estimated $2 billion price tag, city officials hope the release of the plan will help attract the funds needed to accomplish their priorities, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

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