Tampa Bay bicyclists should make sure they're still using extra caution in the sharrows
Bay area metros score well below average on PeopleForBikes' "Best Places to Bike 2022"
Out of the 85 "large cities" included in the nationwide list, Tampa
clocks in at lowly No. 69. Clearwater
ranks No. 428 out of 455 "midsize" cities while St. Petersburg
came in at No. 303 in the midsize category, too.
Tampa earned a overall rating of 20. Clearwater's overall rating was 6 and St. Petersburg's was 17.
People For Bikes says that, "In general, a score about 50 means a city is making a strong effort to make bicycling safe and convenient for riders."
The rating is an adjusted average between the city's network score—based on factors like safe speeds, protected bike lanes, road diets and intersection treatments—and its community score—based on the local's opinions.
Network scores for Tampa (13), Clearwater (8) and St. Petersburg (9) were all well below national averages. However, community scores in Tampa in St. Pete were above the national average. This means that PeopleForBikes is more critical of Tampa and St. Petersburg's bike paths than the local cyclists themselves.
Clearwater did not get enough community response to even earn a community score.
People For Bikes (Screengrab by Creative Loafing Tampa Bay)
PeopleForBikes' map of Tampa is almost entirely categorized as "high-stress," meaning that the city is neither ideal nor safe for biking.
Other than sections of Hampton Terrace, East Ybor, Al Lopez Park and MacDill Air Force Base, PeopleForBikes' map of Tampa is almost entirely categorized as "high-stress," meaning that the city is neither ideal nor safe for biking.
Clearwater—except for Bayside Arbors and the Morningside neighborhoods—were also marked as "high-stress" along with most of St. Petersburg save for Snell Isle and a few city blocks between Crescent Lake and Allendale Terrace.
Just last year, Tampa was titled as the No. 1 city in the country for "bicycle friendly businesses"
by the League of American Bicyclists
, according to the City of Tampa.
Whether it be for financial reasons or simply joyriding, its apparent that this city has a vast number of cyclists and should value catering toward their needs, whether it be reforming bike lanes or lowering speed limits.