Open House for Terrace Park/University Square Vision Plan

An Open House on the progress of the Vision Plan for Terrace Park/University Square, supported by the Hillsborough Planning Commission, will be held Thursday, November 29, 2012, 6-8 p.m. at Busch Gardens Gwazi Pavillion, Busch Gardens Guest Drop-Off & Bus Entrance, 10165 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa. The public is invited. The study area is between the Temple Terrace city line, I-275, Busch Blvd. and Fowler Avenue. For more information, contact Sam Dennis at 813-272-5940.

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MPO Livable Roadways Neighborhood Meeting

The public is invited to a neighborhood meeting of the MPO Livable Roadways Committee, Wednesday, October 24, 2012, to discuss and hear your ideas on how to make the University Area more bicycle-, pedestrian-, and transit-friendly. The meeting will be held at Shaw Elementary School, 11311 N. 15th Street, Tampa, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Use the north parking lot near the railroad/15th street and enter through the gate nearest that lot. There will be signs leading you to the media center. For more information, contact Lisa Silva at 813-273-3774 x317 or silval@plancom.org

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University Area Transit Circulator Study Workshop

Thursday, October 4, 2012, 2-4 p.m.

University Area Community Center, 14013 N. 22nd Street, Tampa

The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority invite you to discuss opportunities for improved transit service within the University Area.  For more information, contact Randy Kranjec at 813-273-3774 x359 or kranjecr@plancom.org

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May 1 Public Hearing to Amend the 2035 MPO Transportation Plan

The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization will consider an amendment to the 2035 Plan to change the limits of the Bruce B. Downs Blvd. widening project to “From south of Bearss Avenue to south of Palm Springs Blvd., and add $20,302,208 to purchase right-of-way within the next few years. The meeting is at 9 a.m., County Commission Chambers, 601 E Kennedy Blvd., 2nd Flr, Downtown Tampa. More information can be found at www.mpo2035.org or call Wally Blain at 813-273-3774 x361.

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May 8 University Area Community Plan Transportation Meeting

The Planning Commission invites you to attend a meeting on Tuesday, May 8th, focusing on the transportation strategies brought forward to date. These will be made available online for further input. Proposed strategies include those from Complete Streets concepts and the University Area Community Plan, comments from the University Area Community Plan Update Survey, the Tampa Walk/Bike Study and the Walk/Bike Implementation Plan for Hillsborough County, and recommendations from the USF Area Multi-Modal Transportation District Study. The meeting is at 6-8 p.m. at the University Area Community Center, 14013 N. 22nd Street, Tampa, FL 33613. For more information, please contact Pedro Parra at 813-273-3774 x356 or parrap@plancom.org

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NNTA Provides Free Bike Racks to Qualifying Area Businesses

Many New North area businesses are taking advantage of a free bicycle rack program.  The program, offered through NNTA, benefits local employers by providing free bicycle parking utilized by employees, customers and visitors.  Recently, NNTA provided bicycle racks to a USF Research Park building after observing a high need for bicycle parking. 

The racks are already being utilized at a high capacity.  For more information regarding the program, email NNTA Co-Director Julie Bond at bond@cutr.usf.edu.

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HART Awarded $2.3 Million Federal Grant for CNG Fueling Station

 

A follow up on the HART Board recap in which there was discussion on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday that HART is the recipient of a $2.3 million grant to fund a CNG fueling station and associated modifications to an existing HART maintenance facility. This is the first step for HART towards transitioning vans and buses from using diesel to CNG, which is cleaner and more efficient to use in public transit.

“Natural gas offers a cost-effective alternative to diesel fuel,” said Philip Hale, HART Chief Executive Officer. “Natural gas is available domestically and at this time, costs approximately 20-25 percent less than diesel.”

The preliminary project timeline includes design and construction through 2012, and an operational CNG fueling station in 2013.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Transit Administration (FTA), HART is one of 46 innovative clean-fuel transit projects nationwide that will share $112 million in funding from two FTA programs: the Clean Fuels Grant Program and the TIGGER III (Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction) Grant Program.  

 To view a summary of other HART capital projects underway, visit HART at Work.

 About CNG & Public Transit

Natural gas is a clear, odorless and non-corrosive gaseous mixture of hydro-carbons. Natural gas vehicles show an average reduction in ozone-forming emissions of 80 percent compared to gasoline vehicles, according to a report from the California Energy Commission. Many transit agencies nationwide are transitioning to CNG vehicles, including DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit), which plans over the next three years to deploy more than 650 new CNG buses and paratransit vehicles as replacements for its current fleet of buses that began service in 1998. In addition, LA Metro (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) retired its last diesel bus in January 2011.

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HART Expands Bikes on Buses

 

Bikes on buses just got a whole new meaning! Customers may now bring their folded bicycles on HART buses and vans.

Folded bikes on buses must:

  • Have 20-inch wheels or smaller; larger bicycles should be loaded on the bike rack.
  • Be folded and bagged before boarding the bus.
  • Be folded underneath the seat or in front of the customer so it does not take up extra seats or block the aisle.

Users of bicycles with larger wheels should continue using the bicycle rack. Each HART bus and van accommodates two bicycles. Only single-seat, two-wheel bicycles are permitted on buses; no tandems or three wheelers. Motor-powered vehicles are not permitted on the bus or on bicycle racks. If the rack is full, patrons should be prepared to choose a location to lock up their bicycle, or wait for the next bus serving that route.

Word to the wise! Bicyclists should attach an identification number to their bicycles — whether it’s the manufacturer’s serial number, a license plate or a sturdy decal — and keep a copy of this number with them. This will greatly facilitate the process of claiming lost bicycles. In addition, the Tampa Police Department encourages bicyclists to register their bicycles with its Bicycle Registration Theft Protection Program to assist in recovering stolen bikes.

Thinking about expanding your bicycle travel by getting on board with HART? Visit www.goHART.org or call 813-254-4278 (HART) for help with planning your trip

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Florida Department of Transportation Launches New Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign

Tampa – Many Floridians are not aware of the basic laws of pedestrian safety. Many motorists do not fully understand the rights of pedestrians and bicyclists. In an effort to educate all parties and lower the number of pedestrians and bicyclists injured and killed, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has launched a new pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign called See the Blind Spots. The campaign will feature television, radio, print, outdoor and a website http://www.seetheblindspots.com/

 The See the Blind Spots website features safety tips for bicyclists and pedestrians, crash data, and a section where members of the public can upload personal stories about pedestrian or bicyclist crashes that can be shared with the community.

“The goal of this initiative is to reduce pedestrian fatalities in the Tampa Bay area by 20% before the year 2015,” said District Seven Secretary Don Skelton. “We are launching this bold campaign to reduce the number of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths by bringing awareness to both the driver and the pedestrian and bicyclist.”

 The See the Blindspots campaign uses images such as trains, tanks, elephants and other wild animals in a manner to get motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists to see cars differently and watch out for each other.  The FDOT is encouraging everyone to open their eyes and See the Blindspots.

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