It’s about to get a lot harder to drive over the speed limit on some St. Petersburg streets.
On Thursday, city council voted 7-1 to move forward with a St. Petersburg Complete Streets Implementation Plan that is a blueprint for how the city will spend the next two decades adding crosswalks plus bike and transit lanes to miles of Sunshine City roads.
The city already adopted a Complete Streets Policy in 2015 and passed the Complete Streets City Council Resolution to encourage streets that are “safe and convenient for all users of the roadway,” including pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and people with disabilities, amongst others.
Councilman Ed Montanari was the lone opposing voice who echoed some concerns that the changes slow down traffic and make it more difficult to drive. Opponents lamented the conversion of one lane on Martin Luther King Jr. Street between Fourth and 30th Avenue N. to bike lanes in each direction.
Mayor Rick Kriseman, however, noted that his municipality’s first job is “safety,” and that he would choose one person’s safety over saving a driver 90 seconds to get somewhere.
Council members Gina Driscoll and Charlie Gerdes voiced their support, with Geredes citing road-related deaths as part of his motivation to move forward with the plan.
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