Thursday, August 02, 2007

No 2 Ways About It

I haven't heard any mention of this on the blog, but I'm assuming we've all heard about it by now.

Sad that, as usual, the costs seem more important than the neighborhoods and their people. The story also mentions studying the conversion of all four roads. How about studying the two sets separately?

Lastly, I partially understand at least their arguement (not necessarily their findings), but still find it ironic that a city putting so much focus on bringing people to downtown (i.e., Riverwalk) is so set on being sure those people can drive out of downtown as fast on the residential roads as they can the Interstate the roads p-a-r-a-l-l-e-l.

TAMPA - Citing cost and traffic concerns, state transportation officials are rejecting neighborhood requests to convert busy Armenia Avenue, Howard Avenue, Tampa Street and Florida Avenue into two-way routes.

Skip directly to the full story. By RICH SHOPES. The Tampa TribunePublished: Jul 28, 2007


IFly said...

I was afraid reverting back to two-way traffic would be too much to hope for. On the bright side, while it's a rather paltry amount, there was some funding approval by BOCC to begin acquiring right-of-way for rail, and funding for the first corridor of Bus Rapid Transit-Downtown to USF via Florida Ave.

mcbrendan said...

No one wants to bring pedestrians and successful small businesses to Ybor, Downtown, Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights more than I, but I think the 2-way street conversion idea is a bad one. Here's my blog on the subject:


Brendan McLaughlin

peep said...

One way roads probably are much better at traffic flow. Is speed enforcement as a solution out of the question?

Torgo said...

Sorry Brendan, but although you may live near those roads and find them "luxuriously uncrowded," I think the people who live on those roads -- or try to ride a bike and/or walk down them -- have quite a different viewpoint.

Plus, my opinion is that if the roads swell to capacity with traffic, as you foresee for when the condos fill up downtown, we'll have a bigger problem on our hands. One we could have stopped now; instead of talking about how we should have done something before it got so bad.

As for oneways working in New York -- Tampa is no New York. And our sidewalks are no New York sidewalks. They are scary at best; deadly at worse.

I can also refer to how downtown actually IS going to make some of their one-way roads (ex: Twiggs), two-way. But you probably are aware of that upcoming project:

Good for downtown, but not for the "Heights" areas? (HHHHmmmmm. I wonder which government official just moved onto Twiggs?)

Kudos for taking notice of the situation - and I truly do respect your opinion. Unfortunately I feel the only way for someone to really understand the message the neighborhood is trying to convey is to trade houses with one of us for 6 months and start a daily bike or foot commute up and down Florida and Tampa/Highland during rush hour to/from work.

If anyone is up for it, please let me know.

Torgo said...

Peep -- I think the answwer is "no." Increased traffic enforcement won't help. I think there are some devices/strategies that could slap a band-aid on the situation for a while ... but band-aids aren't a cure.

I have an idea for people trying to get downtown and out again. See that big road splitting our neightborhood? It's called an Interstate. People drive on it to get quickly from place to place to avoid neighborhood traffic devices.

Who ever heard of any city, besides Tampa, encouraging people with one-ways to speed through neighborhoods?

Yeah, yeah, the counter is likely, "we're trying to get people home quickly to local neighborhoods," but we Heights people know most drivers using those roads during rush hour are trying to avoid the Interstate to a point that it clears up enough for their tastes. Once it does, they Interstate it back to their New Tampa or Pasco homes.

That's simple to verify; just look at the roads on a Saturday morning. Their ghost towns.

Mal Carne said...

I'm really not sure if two way traffic is the best solution. I've been wondering about the effectiveness of on-street parking, something this city seems adamantly opposed to (5 minute limit?).
By attrition, on street parking in commercial areas would improve sidewalk conditions, promote a stronger business district, AND slow traffic. If the straight shot in and out of downtown became a pain in the arse for those who now use it as a racetrck, the problem might just take care of it's self.

Now I'm thinking really crazy here, but a bike lane in addition to onstreet parking might be kinda cool, too.

Torgo said...

If they aren't going to budge (for whatever reason) on the two way-street; I think your idea is the next best, Mal.

Now -- how do we get it started?

Mal Carne said...

Well, right now it comes down to asking the state and city for money. And in this time of crying "oh noes" over tax cuts that we haven't seen yet, that will be hard. Unless we want to spend the money on a riverwalk, or Trump Towers, or beef up the viability of a hockey team right before it's sold, or raises while people are being laid off.
This is merely infrastructure improvement in an old part of town with no developer money behind it. I don't see much happening in the near future.

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