Compromise found on bicycle lanes
May 12, 2010
Residents troubled by plans to eliminate street parking on Euclid Avenue to accommodate two bicycle lanes have persuaded city officials to revise the plan.
People living in houses on and near Euclid received a letter dated March 3 from the city's transportation manager informing them the scheduled resurfacing of the avenue would add eastbound and westbound bicycle lanes.
Florida law prohibits parking on roadways with designated bike lanes.
Many residents maintained that losing street parking would be a nightmare, eliminating spaces required by guests, landscapers, construction vehicles, service personnel and even yard sale customers.
Euclid instead will be designated a "share the road" route when it is resurfaced.
"We will be doing resurfacing, as well as some striping and signage that will make provisions for bicycle accommodations and provide safer markings for bicyclists," transportation manager Jean Dorzback said last week. "It will still allow on-street parking that is currently out there." Under the national Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, share the road routes can be designated when a single lane is not wide enough to safely accommodate bicycles and motor vehicles.
"Between the pavement markings and the signs, this will give bicyclists information on where they should ride on the road to be in the safest location possible to minimize any incidents," such as occupants opening the doors of parked vehicles, Dorzback said.
The Euclid Avenue resurfacing, 2.2 miles from West Shore to Bayshore boulevards, is scheduled to begin in June.
Angered by plans to eliminate street parking in front of the house where she has lived for 50 years, Ann Spinella launched a protest. She wrote a two-page letter, mailing copies to Dorzback, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, members of the Tampa City Council and Hillsborough County Commission, plus the Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Spinella hand-delivered copies to 50 neighbors after learning some either had not received or had not read the city's letter announcing the project. Some neighbors also contacted city officials to protest the proposed parking ban.
"I guess it pays to complain. I'm glad I said something," Spinella said. "I do think it's a good compromise," she said of the revised plan. "It allows people who need to park on the street to do so," said Spinella, 76, who is "very visually challenged" and does not own a vehicle or drive.
"I just didn't like being told it was a done deal, with no public hearing," she said.
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