Community members, including residents of a nearby senior center, can now enjoy new sidewalks, pedestrian connections, crosswalks, and extended trails at Takomah Trail Park in North Tampa. This is all part of a plan to increase accessibility and connectivity in City of Tampa parks.
Some of the improvements include traffic calming measures, such as reducing the radius of the turn at 50th Street and aligning the sidewalks on the north side of Takomah Trail. Both project features encourage drivers to slow down when making their turn.
"The City of Tampa Mobility Department also significantly extended the park's existing sidewalk network, making it easier to walk, run, bike or scoot," Mayor Jane Castor said. "We know that inclusivity means that everyone can participate together, regardless of whether you are a child or an older adult, or your ability or background."
Pedestrians crossing Serena Drive will now find safer crossings with newly-marked crosswalks. This offers pedestrians with wheelchairs, shopping carts, strollers, and those on bicycles or roller-skates a safer way to cross.
Residents will also see increased accessibility in the recently upgraded pedestrian path on the park's west side. This, along with a direct sidewalk extension to the park's trail, will help assist the nearby Mary Walker Senior Apartments residents.
“It's critical we make sure that the older adults in this community, along with anyone else who visits, have access to the beauty that is Takomah Trail Park," Councilman Luis Viera of District 7 said. "When public spaces are improved and made accessible, everyone benefits."
A new four-way stop with crosswalks has been added at the intersection of Serena Drive and Takomah Trail. All aspects of the new construction are ADA-compliant to ensure safer crossings for all users of these transportation facilities.
AARP awarded the City of Tampa a $7,500 grant for this project, making many of these improvements possible. The project, which included additional stormwater and drainage improvements, cost $40,543.46.
This project exemplifies Mayor Jane Castor and Tampa City Council's commitment to Vision Zero, a global strategy to eliminate pedestrian, bicyclist, and vehicular deaths on roadways. This project helps make Tampa's streets safer for all road users, especially our most vulnerable community members, on foot or on a bike.
The AARP Community Challenge is a grant program to make tangible improvements in communities that jump-start long-term change. It is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. To learn more, visit aarp.org/Livable.