The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District Seven, conducted a corridor planning study along West Busch Boulevard (SR 580) from North Dale Mabry Highway to North Nebraska Avenue in Hillsborough County – a distance of approximately 3.3 miles. The SR 580 corridor is an east-west urban principal arterial that connects local commuters to regionally significant corridors, including the Veterans Expressway to the west and I-275, and I-75 to the east. The corridor study area includes portions of unincorporated Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa and is one of the primary links to Busch Gardens Amusement Park (located approximately 2 miles east of the project limit).
The corridor supports a variety of land uses and demographics, including schools, churches, and businesses with direct access to and from Busch Blvd, transit services, pedestrians, bicyclists and many small communities.
The West Busch Boulevard (SR 580) corridor study identified transportation-related problems the area faces and developed alternatives to solve them. This included issues relating to capacity, traffic operations, safety, access and egress, freight movements, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian movement. The study, which began in March 2017, continued for approximately 18 months and included technical work and data analysis, along with various opportunities for the public to be involved in developing a context relevant vision for West Busch Boulevard (SR 580) to accommodate all users.
Study Purpose and Need
The purpose of this study was to:
- Determine and document the existing challenges in the corridor, including: existing and projected development, travel-related problems, congestion, access, operational efficiency, safety, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity. This includes soliciting input from the local users and stakeholders.
- Develop a long-term vision for the corridor that defines the goals and objectives and policy requirements that harmonize with Complete Streets and Vision Zero.
- Address near-term needs by identifying workable solutions for travel needs, consistent with the long-term vision that is established.
Improvements to West Busch Boulevard (SR 580) are needed to: address congestion in the corridor; improve the level of service at the intersections; reduce the number vehicle/pedestrian/bicycle crashes; and support accessibility to transit. This effort to improve mobility and enhance safety in the corridor will be achieved by developing several alternatives, including near-term improvements such as addition of bike lanes and closing side-walk gaps, where feasible; evaluating turning movement efficiency and access management. Long-term solutions could include addition of continuous sidewalks and bike lanes, if feasible within the context of the corridor.