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 News and Updates

arrow Pinellas Trail 25th Anniversary Celebration, December 5 at Taylor ParkPortable Document Format file

arrow December 8 Open House to Continue Discussion of Intersection Improvement Options in Downtown Palm HarborPortable Document Format file

arrow MPO Approves Fall Update of Transportation Improvement Program

arrow Board Actions and Summary of November 18, 2015 MPO MeetingPortable Document Format file

arrow Can Bike Sharing Work in Pinellas County?pedcrossings

arrow The Important Lessons of Sun Railpedcrossings

arrow Study Calls for Additional Lanes on Interstate-275 in Pinellas

arrow Chairman Responds to TB Times Editorial Citing Void in Regional LeadershipPortable Document Format file

arrow Complete Streets Presentation from October 20 MPO/PPC WorkshopPortable Document Format file

arrow Pinellas Trail Survey Report Shows Growing Numbers of People Biking for Exercise and Work Commute

arrow Safety of Bicyclists and Walkers on US 19 Addressed in MPO/FDOT Corridor Study

arrow MPO/PPC Visioning Workshop Focuses on Priorities

arrow "Pinellas SpotLight, Strategic Planning and Operations Topics," MPO/PPC Visioning Workshop PresentationPortable Document Format file

arrow "Integrated Land Use and Transportation Planning for Pinellas County," MPO/PPC Visioning Workshop PresentationPortable Document Format file

arrow MPO/PPC Release First Joint Agency Newsletter, The BridgePortable Document Format file

arrow Road Closure Updates




arrow MPO Approves Fall Update of Transportation Improvement Program

The MPO approved the annual fall update of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) at their monthly meeting on November 18. The fall update involves incorporating the new locally adopted Pinellas County and municipal transportation work programs into the TIP. Provided below are links to the new work programs, maps identifying the project locations and corresponding summary tables that identify the changes in the County work program from the previous year.



arrow Study Calls for Additional Lanes on Interstate-275 in PinellasI275studymap

Pinellas motorists may get some extra room on Interstate-275 if the planned improvements identified in a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) studyPortable Document Format file come to fruition.  The study includes a “recommended build" alternative which calls for increasing the number of continuous lanes from one to two in each direction for the 10.6-mile section south of 54th Avenue South to south of Gandy Boulevard. 

In addition, the improvements include adding toll lanes for the remaining 5.7-mile section, from south of Gandy Boulevard to north of 4th Street North.  The study is scheduled for completion in the current fiscal year.

The study also involves an evaluation of social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts associated with the proposed transportation improvements.  These improvements would maximize the capacity of the corridor while improving lane continuity and connecting to a planned network of interstate express lanes known as the Tampa Bay Express. 

According to the MPO Long Range Transportation Plan, construction funding for the project has not yet been identified. More details are available at FDOT's project website.fdotprojectsite  Public comments on the study can be submitted through the same website.




arrow Pinellas Trail Survey Report Shows Growing Numbers of People Biking for Exercise and Work Commute

Now extending over 40 miles with more to come, the Pinellas Trail continues to attract increasing numbers of bicyclists, walkers and joggers.   Over 618 thousand people used the Trail in 2013 and a growing percentage of them are using it to get to work trailsurveyas well as for recreational purposes.  In a 2014 trail users’ survey, 31 percent of people interviewed in downtown Clearwater and 23 percent in downtown St. Petersburg indicated they primarily use the facility for their work commute. Over 50 percent of the respondents said they use the Trail mainly for exercise.

The respondents were among 2,513 people who were interviewed for the survey at one of eight trailside locations from Palm Harbor to St. Petersburg.   A summary of the survey resultsPortable Document Format file was presented to the MPO/PPC board at their October 14 meeting.  Some additional findings are listed below. 

  • 42% of Trail users travel more than 10 miles for most of their trips.
  • 28% of Gulfport respondents indicated they use the Trail to travel to school.
  • 28% of the respondents were tourists or seasonal residents.

Respondents cited features about the Trail they liked and disliked.  Among the features they liked were that the Trail is well maintained, conveniently accessible, and safe.  They disliked that there were no east-west connections to the Trail, no night time access, lack of etiquette (e.g., dogs, speeding, etc.) by users, and a shortage of amenities.

Based on the survey results, the profile of the average Trail user is a 50-64 year old male bicyclist who travels between two and 10 miles three to seven days per week for exercise. The full report is available here.Portable Document Format file



arrow Safety of Bicyclists and Walkers on US 19 Addressed in MPO/FDOT Corridor Study

As the most heavily traveled arterial road in Pinellas County, US Highway 19 north of Gandy Boulevard has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most dangerous as well, pedparticularly for vulnerable users such as bicyclists and pedestrians. Since 2005, an average of 53 bicyclists and walkers have been hit every year on this road. Nearly four people on foot or bike are killed there every year. Many of these people are traveling to and from a bus stop. US Highway 19 North is the busiest route on the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) system with over 1.8 million annual riders.

A corridor study co-sponsored by the MPO and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is underway to find ways to make the road safer for these vulnerable users as they travel to and from bus stops. This includes identifying short term improvements to address the more immediate safety concerns as well as long term solutions to be addressed in the design of the remaining scheduled and planned overpass and interchange improvements. One of the substantial challenges the study is addressing is how to better provide safe crossing accommodations between the signalized intersections as many of the pedestrian and bicycle crashes on the corridor occur in mid-block areas. More information on the study, including completed work to date, is available here.19study The study is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.



arrow MPO/PPC Visioning Workshop Focuses on Priorities

US Highway 19, the mid-county Gateway area and beach access rose to the top of the MPO/PPC’s priorities at the agencies’ inaugural visioning workshop held on September 21 at the St. Petersburg College EpiCenter in Clearwater.  The purpose of the workshop was to determine the subject areas the newly formed joint agency will be focusing on over the next two years. Board members received a staff presentationPortable Document Format file at the workshop that addressed several issues for them to consider in the discussion of priority/focus areas.

Over $2 billion has been committed to completing the effort to convert US Highway 1919clwtr to a partially controlled access road with interchanges and overpasses from north of SR 580 to the Pinellas/Pasco County Line.  The MPO and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) are also conducting a study on the corridor to address pedestrian and bicycle safety as well as access to transit.  The corridor has the two intersections with the highest annual crash totals in the County, at Tampa Road and Curlew Road.  In addition, 11 of the 25 highest crash intersections in the County are on US Highway 19.   

The 30 square mile Gateway area, which includes the St. Pete Clearwater International Airport and Carillon Park, is an economic hub for the region as well as Pinellas County. The area is home to nearly 60 thousand high wage “primary” jobs. A major road expansion project, the Gateway Express, is scheduled for construction within the next gatewayfive years. This project will significantly improve access to and from the businesses in this area.

However, the Gateway area does not provide adequate transportation options for modes other than the automobile. In addition, less than 10 percent of the Gateway area workforce lives in the area. Creating an improved live-work environment, where local residents can travel short distances between their homes, jobs and shopping destinations, would lessen the auto travel demand and provide a livable community environment in the area.

With an $8.5 billion impact to the local economy in 2014, the beaches are at the center of the County’s tourist industry.  But the upsurge in beach visitors has meant more cars on the road, particularly during the spring months.  Tourist season traffic on Gulf Boulevard, as well as the major roads connecting to the mainland, has become a major concern of the affected local communities and governments. beach

In addition to these focus areas, the MPO/PPC began discussion on funding priorities and whether federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds should be allocated to transportation projects other than road improvements, such as transit service and trails.  The MPO is responsible for prioritizing these funds, which have historically been utilized to fund capacity projects on state roads.  The MPO/PPC will be holding a follow-up workshop in the coming months to continue discussions on these and other priority topics and begin to shape their short term agenda.




About the MPO

The Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning OrganizationPhoto of an MPO in session at Courthouse (MPO) was established in 1977 following the passage of the Federal Highway Act of 1974. The task of the MPO is to develop plans, policies and priorities that guide local decision making on transportation issues. Principal responsibilities include the development of a 20-year Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)Portable Document Format file a five-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)Portable Document Format file a two-year Unified Planning Work ProgramPortable Document Format file and related transportation planning studies and projects. For more on the role of MPOs, read MPO's: A PrimerPortable Document Format file.

The MPO seeks to improve transportation in the county for all principal modes of travel, including mass transit, walking, and bicycling, as well as automobile. The MPO prioritizes capital improvements to address the county's travel needs and allocates federal funding to implement the projects as identified in the TIP and the LRTP.

arrow MPO Public Involvement Opportunities

The MPO relies extensively on public involvement to guide the development of its plans and programs. Staff members regularly appear before professional and civic groups to discuss transportation topics and issues related to its planning program. Staff also attends public events such as community forums, workshops and festivals to share information about MPO plans and to collect feedback from citizens regarding their transportation concerns and interests.

You can provide input and/or participate in the MPO planning process in any of the ways listed below.

  • Send comments via email
  • Complete and submit an online surveyi275study
  • Participate in the MPO's online community forum, TellUsPinellas
  • Attend an MPO board or advisory committee meeting
  • Provide comments directly to the MPO board at one of their montly meetings under the "Citizens to be Heard" agenda item
  • Invite an MPO staff member to present a transportation topic to your civic, neighborhood or business organization via email or by calling 727-464-8250

If you would like to be added to the MPO distribution list and stay apprised of transportation activities and events the agency is involved in, just send an email and type in "add to mailing list" in the subject line.

For any questions or comments regarding the contents of this website, use the information below or refer to the staff directory.

The Pinellas County MPO
310 Court Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone: 727.464.8250
Fax: 727.464.8212

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