Road Rants Update: Safety upgrades planned for Linebaugh Avenue

Road Rants

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – 8 On Your side is getting results for a Tampa homeowner who’s spent seven years trying to make her neighborhood’s roads safer.

Margaret Taormina contacted me with her concerns about speeders on Linebaugh Avenue in the Forest Hills area of Tampa in late Sept. 2019. That was days after a rollover crash, during the middle of the day, down the street from the home she’s lived in for more than 25 years.

Tampa police say a driver lost control while trying to pass another car, and flipped several times. Margaret says the vehicle went up on a sidewalk and rolled into the middle of her residential street. Margaret’s home is a quarter-mile from Chamberlain High School and Adams Middle School. Linebaugh is also a HART bus route.

It was the last straw for Margaret, who has lived on Linebaugh Avenue for 25 years. She’s asked the City of Tampa to make changes in her neighborhood since 2013, which resulted in a traffic study in 2014. However, the study found there wasn’t an above-average number of speeders on Linebaugh Avenue. Most drivers, Margaret says the report found, were clocked at 40 mph, just five miles over the speed limit. That wasn’t acceptable to Margaret, so she was persistent, documenting her concerns and regularly talking with council members.

Then, the rollover crash occurred, and Margaret reached out to me.

I was told at the time, by the City of Tampa, that the N. Boulevard corridor would be evaluated for safety measures. Linebaugh Avenue intersects with N. Boulevard.

However, Margaret feels that the crash, and the Road Rants report featuring her concerns, finally pushed the city to develop a safety plan for Linebaugh Avenue, as part of the City’s Vision Zero, Complete Streets and Speed Limit Reduction programs.

Beginning later this month, or in early March, the city will paint a double solid line on Linebaugh Avenue, prohibiting passing. The speed limit will be lowered from 35 to 30 mph, and the speed limit will be painted on the pavement.

Margaret hopes that eventually, the city will add more crosswalks in the Forest Hills neighborhood, but nonetheless she’s thrilled with the upcoming safety changes.

If you have a Road Rant, email me at mcensullo@wfla.com or send me a message on Facebook at WFLA Meredyth.

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