Tampa Pedestrians & Cyclists Should Be Worried About Their Safety
Now this isn’t all gloomy news. Pedestrian deaths in Hillsborough County did show a decrease last year. Roads have improved, more people are educated on road safety but that is not enough. Across the entire Tampa Bay Region though, the picture is a lot less promising. Pedestrians and cyclists safety leaves something to be desired.
According to research done by the Tampa Bay Times, while pedestrian deaths fell in Hillsborough County by 25% from the previous year, 2o15 was the most deadly year on record. But the number of deaths in Pasco and Pinellas both rose in 2016. Bicyclist deaths are also up in Pasco and Hillsborough.
Every county has their own set of issues when it comes to pedestrians and cyclists safety, and it’s up to these individual counties to make an effort to correct the issues causing these preventable deaths. With the redevelopment of both Tampa and St. Pete’s downtown districts, more foot traffic creates the need for more urban planning and pedestrian safety efforts. People live, work, eat and shop in these districts, presenting a difficult problem.
These planers have different options to consider such as, mid-block crosswalks, so pedestrians can stop in the middle of traffic going two directions to signal the other side of the road to stop. Other options include lowering speed limits, improving lighting or adding stoplights.
However, city development and transportation planners will not be able to solve everything. Motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists alike have to know the law, follow the law and use their common sense. If things are going to improve, it will take the combined effort of city governments, law enforcement, motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to affect change. This year already an 8-year-old boy was struck by a car while on his bike and Pasco and died from his injuries and a woman was fatally injured after crossing U.S. 19, while not in a crosswalk.