Researchers from the University of South Florida are partnering with the City of Tampa to develop innovative solutions that will lead to safer travel conditions along busy roads within the city. The initiative stems from a new $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation received by the city and announced by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.
With this grant, awarded through USDOT's Safe Streets and Roads for All program, the city will collaborate with USF's Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) to implement essential speed mitigation measures along select roadways in underserved Tampa communities. This crucial funding initiative aligns with the federal Justice 40 initiative, which has bolstered resources for underserved areas to address transportation infrastructure deficiencies.
“Through our work with City of Tampa, we are looking forward to providing community education, as well as evaluating the impact of the speed management treatments,” said Jason Jackman, USF senior research associate for CUTR. “Recent studies show that traffic calming measures can reduce crashes by up to 11%. This partnership is significant in helping to reduce serious injuries and fatalities in our community.”
Vehicle speed is a fundamental predictor of crash survival, and higher speeds increase the likelihood of a person dying or suffering serious injuries during a crash. In Tampa, the number of traffic-related fatalities has continued to rise, with 79 fatalities and 355 life-altering injuries occurring on city streets in 2022.
As part of Tampa M.O.V.E.S, the city’s mobility plan that was released earlier this year, locations where the posted speed exceeds the target speed have been identified and prioritized for speed mitigation efforts. The four corridors covered by this grant – all included on the High Injury Network -- include Rowlett Park Drive, Palm Avenue, East Sligh Avenue, and North 34th Street.
“We understand no loss of life is acceptable, and that’s why I signed the Vision Zero pledge and we developed the city’s first Vision Zero Action Plan," Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said. "I want to thank President Joe Biden, Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and our Congresswoman, Kathy Castor, who are so committed to Tampa and to making Tampa a safer community for our families. They have demonstrated their commitment to this community and this is another big step that will allow us to engage our community to develop our Safe System approach through practical and efficient quick-build projects."
(L-R) Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Vik Bhide, mobility director for the city of Tampa and Jason Jackman, senior research associate for CUTR
In addition to the $2.6 million grant, the City of Tampa will contribute $650,000 to support the project.
“Thanks to the federal infrastructure law, and the partnership with the City of Tampa and University of South Florida, safer streets are on the way to Tampa Bay! One of the top aims of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by a Democratic-led Congress is to make streets safer and connect neighborhoods. Historic Ybor City, East Ybor, Sulphur Springs and East Tampa will directly benefit, and I salute Mayor Castor, USF and neighborhood advocates who developed the Vision Zero plan to lift our neighborhoods. The Tampa Bay area is on the move, and together we are building a safer and healthier community for all,” Rep. Castor said.
For more information about the Tampa M.O.V.E.S. citywide mobility plan, click here.
View additional details on the Vision Zero Action plan here.