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 News and Updates

arrow MPO/PPC Hosting Complete Streets Presentation, October 20

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

arrow Pedestrian Safety Awareness Week, October 26-30

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 Board Actions and Summary of September 9, 2015 MPO MeetingPortable Document Format file

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

arrow Opportunities for Citizen Comments and Public Hearing on State Transportation Work Program, October 26-30Portable Document Format file

arrow Road Closure Updates

arrow Teen Crashes on the Rise in Pinellas Based on Latest Crash Report

arrow Pinellas Trail Use Up By 20 Percent According to State of System Report

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




arrow MPO/PPC Hosting Complete Streets Presentation, October 20

The MPO and PPC are hosting a Complete Streets presentation October 20, 1 -2:30 PM, at 310 Court Street in downtown Clearwater. The presentation will be conducted by completestreetJeffrey Arms, AICP, and Jamie Krzeminski, PE, PTOE, of HDR, a multi-national company that provides planning, engineering and architectural design services.

"Complete streets" is a relatively new approach to designing roads in a way that promotes and encourages walking, bicycling and transit use for people of all ages and abilities. As the authority for setting transportation priorities for state and federal funding, MPOs across the state of Florida have used a variety of methods to help implement complete streets projects.

This event is approved for 1.5 Certification Maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. Event ID: 31759

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or family status.  Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or persons who require translation services (free of charge) should contact  the Office of Human Rights, 400 South Fort Harrison Avenue, Suite 300, Clearwater, Florida 33756; [(727) 464-4062 (V/TDD)] at least seven days prior to the meeting.



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.



arrow Pedestrian Safety Awareness Week, October 26-30

The MPO is urging all motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to be especially alert and aware during Pedestrian Safety Week, October 26 – 30.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association schoolcrossing(NHTSA), a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in the United States in 2013. There were 501 pedestrian fatalities in Florida that year, including 25 in Pinellas County. As part of the Pedestrian Safety Awareness Week campaign, the MPO’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) works with the Pinellas County School Board and local public and private schools to distribute over 120 thousand pedestrian safety brochuresPortable Document Format file to students and their families.  The brochures educate and remind drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians of traffic safety laws and rules, particularly as they pertain to intersections, crosswalks, and mid-block crossing areas.  In addition, Pedestrian Safety Awareness Week is supported through the cooperative efforts of local law enforcement agencies and the Florida Department of Transportation’s ongoing safety initiatives. 




arrow Teen Crashes on the Rise in Pinellas Based on Latest Crash Report

At their July 8 meeting, MPO Board members received a presentation of their latest Crash Data Report.Portable Document Format file The ReportPortable Document Format file provides a summary and analysis of crash incidentscrash occurring along the County’s major roads and parking areas from 2011 to 2013.  Some positive trends included a decline in pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and injuries. 

However, Board members raised concerns about a number of trends moving in the wrong direction. These included a significant increase in crashes involving teens, and impaired and aggressive drivers.  In the case of teen drivers, crashes increased by 61 percent from 2011 to 2013.  “Coming up with solutions to improve conditions in the short term is critical,” responded Commissioner Dave Eggers. 

Commissioner Eggers and others on the Board also underscored the need to increase public awareness of the safety issues raised in the report in particular with regard to high accident locations.  Over 50 percent of the total crashes in the County between 2011 and 2013 occurred at 40 intersections.  Fifteen of the intersections are on US Highway 19, including Tampa Road and Curlew Road at number one and two, respectively. 

Data from the annual Crash Report is used for road safety assessments, consideration in road design plans, justification for public funding, project prioritization, and to identify Long Range Transportation Plan improvements.



arrow Pinellas Trail Use Up By 20 Percent According to State of System Report

Over 618 thousand people biked, walked or skated on the Pinellas Trail in 2013, the second consecutive year the number of annual Trail users grew.  This was among thetrailriders highlights of the MPO’s 2014 State of the System ReportPortable Document Format file released in June and presented to the MPO Board at their July 8 meeting.  The biennial Report provides a snapshot of transportation trends in Pinellas County, including road, trail, and transit usage along with crash incidents and a mileage inventory of roads and pedestrian and bicycle facilities. 

In addition to the growth in users, total mileage of trail facilities in the County expanded to over 100 miles in 2013, a 17 percent increase from 2011.  Bike lane and sidewalk coverage grew as well.  Bike lanes existed on 19 percent, 179 miles, of the County’s major road network as of 2013, a five percent increase from 2011.  New construction from 2011 to 2013 resulted in a 1.5 percent increase in the mileage of the County’s sidewalk facilities along arterial and collector roads, paralleling 75 percent of the County’s major road network.




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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