May 12, 2020
By: Tiffany Razzano
Work is under way along Bayshore Boulevard as the city of Tampa installs two temporary traffic signals at the intersections of South Rome Avenue and West Euclid Avenue.
Safety enhancements have been made regularly to Bayshore Boulevard for years, said Vik Bhide, director of the city’s Mobility Department.
“Our first Bayshore Boulevard Task Force that I can remember was in 2004 and since then, the city has made investments in this roadway,” he said.
Work completed in recent years, following several high-profile fatal car crashes on the roadway, include the addition of seven new crosswalks with rapid rectangular flashing beacons, signal timing changes, resurfacing projects, narrowed lanes and bicycle facilities, Bhide added.
A study conducted two years ago pinpointed South Rome Avenue and West Euclid Avenue as the two areas most in need of traffic signals.
“Data and studies show these are high-crash locations,” Bhide said. “Both of these spots lie in the middle of this long uninterrupted, almost 2-mile stretch, which is a great opportunity for speeding. We can break that up by introducing a controlled stop. This also creates a safe crossing opportunity at a signalized intersection that requires a vehicle to stop. It’s a two-fold benefit for multi-modal traffic.”
Speed has been a factor in recent crashes, he added.
While the city operates and maintains Bayshore Boulevard, Hillsborough County owns the roadway, he said. The city will fund the installation of these temporary traffic signals. Within the next year-and-a-half, these will be made permanent. At that point, the city and county will share the cost, about $400,000 per signal, he said.
“It’s not a city-owned asset. We operate it as an agreement,” Bhide said. “We’ve shown commitment above and beyond. We recognize that there has been some significant fatalities and we’re saddened by it, so instead of waiting for funding to become available next year, we’re making this temporary signalization a priority.”
The installation began on April 29 and will be completed in about 90 days. During this period, barricades and signs will be set up to assist with traffic flow. Drivers are encouraged to use caution when driving through the area, Bhide said.