Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pedestrian Safety Panic

The Tampa Bay Times "institutional voice" raised the alarm on pedestrian safety recently.
St. Petersburg has had more pedestrians killed this year than homicides. This troubling trend is also reflected in national statistics: 2018 saw the highest number of pedestrians and bicyclists killed in the United States since 1990. While encouraging more walkers and bikers is commendable and creates a more sustainable transportation system, their safety is paramount. This is a community issue more than a law enforcement issue, and better safety will require more vigilance by drivers, walkers and bikers alike.
The subheading is "It will take a combination of urban planning, enforcement and driver awareness to reverse the trend."

Is that really the full story?

Monday, November 11, 2019

PSTA: Over Half of Fleet is “Life Expired,” Ridership Drops Further, and More

Reposted with permission from Tom Rask, Tampa Bay Guardian

The agenda for PSTA’s October board meeting was packed with costly surprises for the taxpayers. There was a half million dollar cost overrun that went undetected for three years, the revelation that 56% of PSTA’s buses are “life expired,” and also an “unexpected” expenditure in the amount of $554,000 for the proposed Central Avenue BRT project.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Hagan Only Tip of Iceberg in FBI Probe?

Reposted with permission from Jim Bleyer, Tampa Bay Beat

Ken Hagan
The federal investigation into shady land deals in Hillsborough County includes several targets besides County Commissioner Ken Hagan and his family, Tampa Bay Beat has learned.

Those being investigated include private citizens as well as other public officials, according to our source in Tallahassee. No specific names were mentioned but could very well include Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, former Mayor Bob Buckhorn, County Administrator Mike Merrill, Water Street Tampa developer Jeff Vinik, and Ybor City land magnate Darryl Shaw.

All promoted and/or had a significant economic interest in a countywide light rail transit referendum and relocation of a ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays from St. Petersburg to Ybor City. Constitutionality of the referendum is tied up in the Florida Supreme Court where it is expected to be struck down.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Will Scooters Crash the Tampa Streetcar?

We stumbled upon some interesting data on Facebook recently that raises some questions in our mind about the viability of transit compared scooters.

Scooting in Tampa in a rarely seen helmet
Will scooters success crash the TECO Streetcar ridership?

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Hillsborough MPO's $32 Billion Congestion Creation Plan

As we posted here and here, the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) used a push poll marketing campaign to capture flawed data they wanted as input to the MPO's 20 year 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). This long range plan is for years 2026-2045.

Not only was the data they captured in their push polls flawed, their proposed $32 BILLION 2045 LRTP is seriously flawed with inconsistent data, incomplete information, and false assumptions.

The MPO has scheduled a pubic hearing for tonight at 6pm on the 2045 LRTP. Their 2045 Public Hearing "Draft" document is a marketing brochure with few details and no back up information. We wonder if the MPO Board can decipher and understand this plan much less the general public.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Ethics Be Damned: Tampa Bay Times Protects Its Conflict of Interest

Reposted with permission from Jim Bleyer, Sunshine State News, Tampa Bay Beat

(Pictures Courtesy of Jim Bleyer, SSN, TBB)
The continuing saga of the Tampa Bay Times’ ethics "challenges" inveigled its way into a St. Petersburg City Council race when the newspaper jettisoned its equal-time rule to protect the relationship it has with a local political operative.

That operative, Barry Edwards, is a member of the Poynter Institute of Media Studies Foundation, which owns the Times, still the largest newspaper in Florida. Edwards’ pervasive high-profile presence in political campaigns -- none of which the Times ever opposes -- violates the journalistic ethics its editors have always professed and the Poynter has taught religiously for decades.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Tampa Bay Commuting Follies [Part 2]

Continuing some further analysis you won't find anywhere else around Tampa Bay, we have some more data to dissect.

Again, using the Tampa Bay Times Graham Brink's article on our increasing commutes as a starting point, Brink states
Pity the 117,000 Tampa Bay workers who spend at least an hour getting to work and then have to do it again going home.
No joy for those folks in their commutes, for sure.

But how are those 117,000 workers getting to work?