street mural

June 26, 2023

Lisa Silva – [email protected]

Last updated
June 27, 2023

Since 2016, students from Roosevelt Elementary have been walking and biking to school with Sidewalk Stompers. By 2023, more than 340 students participated in the Sidewalk Stompers safety program. In 2018, the TPO conducted a Safe Routes to School study in conjunction with the School Transportation Working Group (STWG). The study resulted in a variety of recommendations that can be implemented at schools throughout Hillsborough County. “Children deserve a safe route to school. At busy locations serving hundreds or thousands of students arriving by bus, car, bike, and on foot, creating safe pathways for all users is critical,” said Emily Hinsdale, President of Sidewalk Stompers. “We are excited to see how paint lines, crosswalks, and stop signs are already making a difference in how space is used. We hope there will be many more school safety projects like this implemented in the City of Tampa and beyond.”

The City of Tampa traffic safety staff put together a design to move high volumes of multi-modal traffic through local roads and implemented it for Plant High School, a stakeholder on the STWG. Narrower lanes, a defined car line, on-street parking to serve both the school and adjacent church, painted bulb outs, new crosswalks, and new stop signs worked together to create a safer roadway for all users. Community response has been positive.

For Roosevelt Elementary, Sidewalk Stompers board member Matti Rukholm, a landscape architect with Madrid CPWG, used recommendations from the 2018 TPO School Study to redesign the wide, uncontrolled street that is the school’s primary drop-off/pick-up location into a safer, slower, and more welcoming space for all users — walk, bike, or drive. He proposed two new all-way stops, restriping and street murals that narrow the travel lanes and harden the corners, and street planters that prevent drivers from blocking crosswalks, corners, and sight lines. With sponsorship from Plan Hillsborough, the City of Tampa, Roosevelt PTA, Roosevelt Dads Club, and Cub Scout Pack 25, the installation was just completed in late May 2023. This was truly a community effort, and the result is fantastic.

Nearby, the Plant High School PTSA is working to create a similar (though smaller scale) project outside their school on Himes Avenue, expanding the safety and welcoming of the space. This will be a great compliment to the work previously done.

If you would like more information about implementing safety improvements around your school, contact Lisa Silva: [email protected]