Downtown Tampa Completes Conversion To Two-Way Streets

Four streets in downtown Tampa that once ran one way now run in two directions, thanks to a long-term initiative to encourage urban living.

After a transformation that took several years of planning and execution, Twiggs, Cass, Zack and Polk, all east-west thoroughfares through downtown Tampa, are now two-way streets.

Tampa's Transportation Manager Jean Dorzback says the project, which was done one street at a time, was a multilayered task. "The traffic signals had to be redone, poles ordered, zoning and signage, parking meters. There's more to it than you would think."

According to Dorzback, the impetus for the transformation was ultimately to encourage urban living.

"One of the goals is to transform downtown to residential," she says. "Mayor Iorio's administration asked that we convert one-way streets to two-way to encourage residential living and make urban living more appealing. One of the initiatives of this was to convert one way to two way to make it easier for people to negotiate."

Dorzback says that while east-west streets such as Kennedy Boulevard and Nebraska Avenue are still one-way,  the four streets chosen to go two-way were selected because they had the least impact on overall traffic patterns. "We had to be very careful to balance," she says. "We picked the streets that didn't have issues with capacity. These streets didn't have any impact on commuting from the interstates."

Dorzback explains that final resurfacing and permanent markings are to take place as soon as work on the city pipeline system is completed. "Once we're finished with the UCAP pipeline renovations, we'll be able to resurface and put down permanent markings."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Jean Dorzback, City of Tampa
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