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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Hillsborough MPO 5-year Tentative Work Program FY 2012-2017

Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: GoToMeeting Webinar, registration required: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/257948915

If you do not have access to a computer or the internet, view the public hearing announcement to find a webinar access location.

http://www.hillsboroughmpo.org/

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HART Proposed Millage Increase

HART is holding a public hearing on Monday, September 26, 2011, at 5:30 p.m. at HART Administrative Office, 1201 E. Seventh Ave. in Ybor City, regarding the proposed budget for FY2012-2013. This includes proposing to restore the ad valorem tax millage rate from .4682 to .500 to prevent service cuts. For more information, go to http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102746535155-370/Budget_Sept_2011.pdf

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