Hillsborough County has been awarded a grant totaling $19.7 million to implement low-cost and proven safety measures. These include improving and adding sidewalks, bicycle lanes and speed management. These measures are designed to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and drivers.
The measures are slated to be installed at 22 locations throughout Hillsborough County. Of the 22 locations, eight of them will be in the Greater Brandon area. Examples of these include implementing Safe Routes to School at Brandon High School, Limona Elementary School and Riverview High School; a pedestrian corridor safety improvements retrofit on West Bloomingdale Avenue from Las Brisas Drive to South Kings Avenue; and a Vision Zero high-injury network corridor safety improvements retrofit at Gibsonton Drive from Interstate 75 to Balm Riverview Road.
The competitive Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program was established by the federal infrastructure law. The grant provides $5 billion over five years to regional, local and tribal initiatives. It is designed for projects involving anything from redesigned roads to better sidewalks and crosswalks, all planned to prevent deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways.
Hillsborough County’s projects are designed to achieve several goals. These include reducing fatalities and severe injuries on county roads, providing a safe space for pedestrians and bicyclists, designing safe roads that require driver attention and encourage safe speeds, improving mobility for those dependent on public transportation, providing sustainable alternatives to driving and engaging the community for greater acceptance and effectiveness.
The projects will be completed within five years of when the grant is executed. This includes planning, designing, environmental permitting, construction and approval processes.
Josh Belotti, director of engineering and operations for Hillsborough County, explained, “Hillsborough County identifies its Vision Zero High Injury Network (HIN) corridors as opportunities to make the greatest strides toward eliminating fatalities and severe injury crashes.”
Belotti added, “Hillsborough County’s data-driven equitable transportation safety programs provide vulnerable road users safety and access to destinations for opportunities. This grant aims to address these concerns by focusing on implementing low-cost, proven solutions to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and drivers.”