The city of Tampa, Florida has unveiled the first of what will be several intersection redesigns aimed at eliminating pedestrian fatalities.
The city painted its first Crosswalks to Classrooms intersection this past weekend and earlier this week details of the program were released as attendees of Mayor Jane Castor’s announcement were arriving in Tampa for the Safe Routes to Schools conference taking place at the nearby Tampa Convention Center.
The crosswalk, which is meant to set an example for future such installations, is located at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Washington Street in downtown Tampa near the Rampello Magnet School, and features brightly colored markings aimed at drawing motorists’ attention to the intersection and making them look out for crossing children and families.
“We have the distinction, the unfortunate distinction of being one of the worst communities in the nation for bicycle, pedestrian and vehicle fatalities,” Castor said. “We are here today to put an end for that.”
Another advantage of the Crosswalks to Classrooms program is that it is, relatively speaking, low-cost; the improvements come in at about $2,000 per intersection and take just a day to complete.
The effort is part of the city’s Vision Zero plan, which as in similar plans in other major cities across the U.S., aims to eliminate pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular deaths. Tampa is among the worst in the nation for its fatality rates. The city is strategically evaluating intersections to determine where to next improve sidewalks.
Tampa’s Vision Zero plan includes a multifaceted approached to road safety that seeks to eliminate fatalities by combining safe transportation planning, speed management, education and strategic planning and goal-setting. Castor said the city is already working on establishing comprehensive Vision Zero goals.