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City Seeks Public Input on Ashley Corridor Improvements Projects

Check it out folks... Now somebody better go to that little gathering of the minds...




For more information contact:
Irvin Lee, Public Works Director
(813) 274-8721
[email protected]

City Seeks Public Input on Ashley Corridor Improvements Projects – Community Meeting To Be Held On June 26

Tampa, FL June 13, 2007 - The City of Tampa, in conjunction with HDR Inc., will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, June 26, 2007, at 6 p.m. regarding the Ashley Corridor Improvements Projects. The meeting will take place at Maestro’s Restaurant in the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, located at 1010 North WC MacInnes Place, next to the John F. Germany Public Library.

The meeting is open to all members of the public and local residents of Tampa and Hillsborough County are encouraged to participate. The community’s perspective and support are essential to make this planning effort a success. Design opportunities under development will be on display for participants to provide input.

HDR, Inc. has been hired by the City of Tampa to design improvements for Ashley Drive from I-275 to Kennedy Boulevard transforming the corridor into a major downtown gateway. Included will be pedestrian improvements to facilitate urban connections between the east side of the Central Business District to waterfront locations on the west, as well as the existing Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the proposed Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa Museum of Art and the Children’s Museum.

Parking is free in the Poe Garage next to the library and dress is casual. The overhead walkway from the Poe Parking Garage will lead directly to the second story meeting area.

For questions, please contact Director David Vaughn, Contract Administration Department, at (813) 274-8568 or [email protected].
 

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Public Meeting today: Redesign of Ashley Drive

The City of Tampa is holding a public meeting to discuss the redesign of Ashley Drive into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m . in Maestros at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

http://www.tampagov.net/appl_tampa_announcements/ViewRelease.asp?ReleaseID=4191

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Irvin Lee, Public Works Director
(813) 274-8721
[email protected]

City Seeks Public Input on Ashley Corridor Improvements Projects – Community Meeting To Be Held On June 26

Tampa, FL June 13, 2007 - The City of Tampa, in conjunction with HDR Inc., will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, June 26, 2007, at 6 p.m. regarding the Ashley Corridor Improvements Projects. The meeting will take place at Maestro’s Restaurant in the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, located at 1010 North WC MacInnes Place, next to the John F. Germany Public Library.

The meeting is open to all members of the public and local residents of Tampa and Hillsborough County are encouraged to participate. The community’s perspective and support are essential to make this planning effort a success. Design opportunities under development will be on display for participants to provide input.

HDR, Inc. has been hired by the City of Tampa to design improvements for Ashley Drive from I-275 to Kennedy Boulevard transforming the corridor into a major downtown gateway. Included will be pedestrian improvements to facilitate urban connections between the east side of the Central Business District to waterfront locations on the west, as well as the existing Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the proposed Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa Museum of Art and the Children’s Museum.

Parking is free in the Poe Garage next to the library and dress is casual. The overhead walkway from the Poe Parking Garage will lead directly to the second story meeting area. For questions, please contact Director David Vaughn, Contract Administration Department, at (813) 274-8568 or [email protected].

To see the current Ashley Drive Corridor Enhancement Project click below:

http://www.tampagov.net/dept_contract_administration/programs_and_services/Featured_Projects/
 

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This isn't as bad as I thought, and is a good idea, because they are only reducing northbound, which would force people to travel to the other downtown onramp at Orange, Plus this is adding parking, a bigger median for peds to chill on, and possibly allowing a nicer median.
 

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Too bad I cannot go...

I just saw the plans online and I think it's total crap. Reducing the lanes will only make traffic flow worse on Ashley. Then again...It could be worse.
 

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Agreed. The northbound left lane is only useful for getting onto the Cass St. bridge. If you're getting onto the interstate, you have to stay in the middle/right lanes anyway, so I see no significant congestion problems.
 

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Um, I guess you never go/work downtown then. People go north then east to get on the Jefferson exit. People go north to go west on 275. People are dumped on Ahsley from the office buildings and have to take it. Once again, the city attempts to screw anyone who does not live in south tampa
 

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Um, I guess you never go/work downtown then. People go north then east to get on the Jefferson exit. People go north to go west on 275. People are dumped on Ahsley from the office buildings and have to take it. Once again, the city attempts to screw anyone who does not live in south tampa
How is any of that relevant? The leftmost lane is a left-only onto Tyler - it's seldom used. I fail to see how removing that affects anyone traveling to 275.
 

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for most of the way there are three lanes that allow people to move north and peel off. IT is not a limited access freeway - it is a road. You are dumping cars onto fewer lanes. Do the math
 

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The road is still too wide

The eariler proposals are much better. I would rather have the interstate ramps shut down at the end the Ashley but allow the south bound exit to 275 off of Kay Street remain. It would work very easily...when I am there tonight I am going to suggest it.
 

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The eariler proposals are much better. I would rather have the interstate ramps shut down at the end the Ashley but allow the south bound exit to 275 off of Kay Street remain. It would work very easily...when I am there tonight I am going to suggest it.
I think that is more intelligent than to have 2 north bound on ramps. It would displace the traffic trying to go northbound to the otherside of Downtown to get on via Orange, then the southbounders on Ashley.
 

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The eariler proposals are much better. I would rather have the interstate ramps shut down at the end the Ashley but allow the south bound exit to 275 off of Kay Street remain. It would work very easily...when I am there tonight I am going to suggest it.
Kay Street? That connection was PERMANENTLY CUT OFF by the interstate reconstruction project!!! Commuters who used to be able to get off at Kay must use Doyle (or whatever it's called) Drive because of the extended elevated ramp to Ashley from SB I-275.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This isn't as bad as I thought, and is a good idea, because they are only reducing northbound, which would force people to travel to the other downtown onramp at Orange
Northbound is where the congestion problem is sfaik, with little practical alternative for drivers (I don't consider forcing drivers through 5-7 lights to the other side of DT to be practical)

They should leave it alone, or trim a lane from southbound if they must, since drivers can (and should) generally be using Tampa St anyways (Tampa St's intersection at Tyler should be reworked so that it is the SB interstate traffic that gets precedent to SB Tampa St traffic, as well as light cycle priority.
 

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No offense to anyone to anyone from tampa but driving in tampa generally SUCKS around the rush hour times, so either way its a mess. But this will definetly **** it up traffic wise. For one sidewalks arent that bad now considering the amount of people using them. I'll give them credit it does look alot nicer but pratical?? **** no...
 

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http://www.sptimes.com/2007/06/27/Hillsborough/A_lane_less_on_Ashley.shtml

A lane less on Ashley Drive?

By MIKE BRASSFIELD
Published June 27, 2007

TAMPA - With all the congested roads around here, it's rare for the government to take away a lane of traffic.

And yet, that's what Tampa proposes to do in order to make downtown's Ashley Drive more pedestrian-friendly.

The city's plan, which isn't final, got a mixed reception Tuesday night from about 80 people at a meeting downtown. Many of them want the street to become even narrower than the city is planning. They want Tampa to think big, and find a way to redirect traffic away from Ashley.

The ultimate question: Should Ashley cater more to pedestrians or cars?

The city had originally considered narrowing the street from six lanes to four. But a hotly debated traffic study concluded that rush-hour traffic would likely back up onto Interstate 275 within six years.

So the city compromised, with a plan to make Ashley five lanes wide, dropping a northbound lane but keeping all the southbound ones that feed traffic into downtown.

"We do not think it's likely we'll be able to eliminate a southbound lane, " said David Vaughn, director of the city's contracts administration department.

City officials have been grappling with how to make this major thoroughfare less hostile to pedestrians. Downtown residents will largely be living east of Ashley, but they'll want access to current and future cultural amenities on the west side of the street.

On Ashley's west side, along with the existing library and performing arts center, there will be a Riverwalk, a new art museum, children's museum and waterfront park.

Some other elements of the city's plan for Ashley:

- Make the remaining lanes a bit narrower.

- Shorten the pedestrian crossings by 20 to 25 percent. "We're shaving 10 to 12 feet off the distance to get across the street, " Vaughn said.

- Widen the sidewalks and medians, and make the medians more inviting.

- Eventually increase the canopy of shade trees.

City Council member Linda Saul-Sena and a business group, the Tampa Downtown Partnership, had been campaigning for a four-lane Ashley.

Somewhat reluctantly, the partnership has agreed to back the five-lane plan.

"At this point, we feel like this is as good as we're going to get, " said Karen Kress, the partnership's director of transportation.

The city's next step will be to further refine the design of the street and its lighting and landscaping. More public hearings will be held. Vaughn predicts that construction won't start until after the Super Bowl in January 2009.
 

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^^^

Well good...we won't see any Ashley mess until AFTER spring 09. I just hope the city is able to REPLACE all those blue wayfinding signs within DT soon. those things are so inaccurate and NOT pedestrian friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OK, I see that I had my memory backwards again...SB is the problem, not NB it seems...

Which actually means to me that if they can chop a lane off of NB Ashley, then they can easily chop a lane off SB as well, and divert much of the inbound I-275 flow to Tampa St as I described in my previous post... I think the folks who are saying either leave it alone, or truly rework Ashley to be significantly different are in the right here...
 

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Kay Street? That connection was PERMANENTLY CUT OFF by the interstate reconstruction project!!! Commuters who used to be able to get off at Kay must use Doyle (or whatever it's called) Drive because of the extended elevated ramp to Ashley from SB I-275.
I use Kay everyday, it isn't cut off and the lights are not long as anything on Ashley, I am in downtown everyday. Even Saul Sena voiced and felt it was strange to have so many entries and exits so close to each other.

Last night we all raised the issue that this proposal is cosmetic and will not solve the issue of allowing Ashley to be pedesterian friendly. Toward the end, a lot look at the big picture and felt the 275 connection on Ashley is the main culprit. Just striping Ashley really isnt going to do anything in the long run.

I feel as if a lot of money is going to be wasted on this. I rather it take longer and do the right thing than to make things pretty. This project is pretty much a no-brainer.
 

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I work in BoA Plaza downtown, and have no alternative to Ashley when leaving. I don't understand why the city is creating Ashley as a "gateway" into Tampa, but then narrowing the roads and restricting access. They may as well just spend their money elsewhere. Why spend all the money to create a "gateway" then cut the lanes so nobody can use the "gateway"? This makes no sense to me.
 
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