Tom Locke University Mall NNTA Co-chair

Tom Locke – University Mall NNTA Co-chair

Thomas Locke. With great sadness, we report that Thomas Locke, General Manager of the University Mall and Vice Chair of the New North Transportation Alliance (NNTA), passed away Monday, July 1, 2013.  A memorial celebration will be held Friday, July 19, 2013, 5:00 PM at the University Area Development Center, 14013 North 22nd Street, Tampa, Florida 33613.

If it were not for the abiding interest, leadership and advocacy by Tom Locke over the years, going back to 1994, the New North Transportation Alliance would not have accomplished all that it has.  Tom was long-time Chair and Vice Chair of NNTA, formerly known as the University North Transportation Initiative (UNTI).

Tom had developed a large network of contacts in the community business arena.  Having moved recently from Chicago, he was aware of the effects that rapid urbanization has upon the transportation system and mobility of the community.  He was well attuned to the needs of private businesses in the area, especially on issues of transportation access, employee recruitment and retention, and safety.  He became personally involved in other related issues, primarily regional planning activities that will set the course of major transportation investments for the next forty years. This involvement made him well known and respected in the transportation community and articulate about the issues.  Tom’s participation in NNTA has been responsible for much of the momentum and focus of the organization.  He understood the importance of reminding NNTA members periodically of its many accomplishments.

In NNTA’s earlier history, Tom had provided the University Mall as a location for the former University North Commuter Center, a one-stop shop for transportation information and HART bus tickets during the 1990’s.  Tom provided the University Mall as the location for Alternative Transportation Week special events and the location for BikeLids parking at a time when few businesses considered providing bicycle parking facilities for their employees and customers.

In partnership with USF, Tom initiated and provided support for the Mall Express, a noon-time shuttle service between USF and the University Mall.  This later expanded into the USF Bull Runner.

Tom advocated for the development of a multimodal transportation system and he addressed the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners about the transportation needs in our service area. Tom actively reached out to the Hillsborough MPO to include UNTI and the other transportation management organizations in the MPO Transportation Improvement Program.

Tom facilitated meetings and discussions about a host of local transportation issues, including the proposed East/West Connector, Bruce B. Downs Blvd. corridor safety, and the need for bike lanes on 42nd Street.

Early in Tom’s tenure as Chair, he was recognized by then Tampa City Councilman Bob Buckhorn for his civic activities. Tom was a member of the Committee of 99, an advisory group to the Hillsborough County Commission that considered various transportation improvement scenarios during the late 1990’s.  Ten years later, he served as a stakeholder to the Light Rail Alternatives Analysis and for HART’s MetroRapid bus rapid transit service. More recently, Tom advocated tirelessly on behalf of the completion of multimodal street and safety improvements to 22nd Street as part of his work with our partner, the University Area Community Development Corporation.  It was Tom’s idea to hold the Transportation EXPO at USF in September 2010.

Through Tom’s devoted advocacy, the New North area continues to improve for its residents and commuters. His support for the good work of the NNTA was consistent and enthusiastic, resulting in many transportation choice improvements with more yet to be realized in the years to come. We will miss Tom’s leadership and persona tremendously.


Barbara S. Donerly, RA, AICP, LEED  AP

Co-Chair NNTA

Assistant Director, USF Facilities Planning & Construction


Frank Margarella. Our dear friend and long-time chair of the New North Transportation Alliance passed away unexpectedly on March 13, 2010.  We will miss his witty humor and intelligence at our meetings.  He was a good friend.

Funeral services for Frank Margarella were held on Saturday, March 20 at 12 noon at the St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church on Cross Creek.

In Memory:  Frank Margarella was a founding board member of the New North Transportation Alliance (NNTA, formerly known as the University North Transportation Initiative).  He served continuously and energetically since 1994, and led NNTA as Chair of the Board from 2005, until his recent death.  He was NNTA’s essential link to the transportation issues and concerns of residents in the New Tampa area.  Frank enabled NNTA to reach out to more people and organizations through his networking efforts and ideas for bringing together those with a common interest to improve the quality of life in the New North area.

“…throughout the many years Frank has been on the board he has given hundreds of hours of his time to the improvement of the community without any return other than a job well done! I know that I as one of the longer serving members of this board believe his input has made a positive result on the community and that those that live in it for the most part will never know how much.” Pete Hewitt, NNTA Board Member

“I truly enjoyed working with Frank in my years with the New North Transportation Alliance. He will surely be missed for his energy, leadership, and ability to generate new ideas and engage the local business community and neighborhoods to find solutions to transportation related issues.”  – Heather Sobush, Principal Planner, Pinellas County MPO and former NNTA Director

“It was Frank Margarella’s presence in the mid-1990’s that gave NNTA the vitality to keep moving forward.”  – Sara Hendricks, NNTA Co-Director

I met Frank in the late 90s, when he served as a founding member of the University North Transportation Initiative — the NNTA predecessor. He was a high-energy member of our Board, and an active, positive contributor of constructive ideas for moving the area forward. He seemed always to have a thousand irons in the fire — but he could still be counted on whenever we needed him. He was a passionate advocate for the interests of North Tampa, and just an all around interesting guy. I was so stunned and saddened to learn of his early passing… he really seemed larger than life. Frank, you will be missed. – Margaret Giery Dwyer, Former UNTI/NNTA Director

Frank was always willing to help whenever he was needed, even at a moment’s notice.  His ideas generated many thoughtful discussions.  I always looked forward to seeing him at our meetings.  His passion and energy will be missed. –  Julie Bond, NNTA Co-Director