Open Streets concept would close Bayshore Blvd. on Sundays

- A new concept called Open Streets is catching on and Tampa City Council is considering the idea for  Bayshore Boulevard.

The pitch to council members from a group of Open Streets supporters proposes closing Bayshore to cars on Sundays - turning the roadway into a pedestrian-friendly park.

“We're trying to introduce a different way to see Bayshore more as a park than a roadway,” said Walk/Bike Tampa Executive Director Christine Acosta.

She was among the supporters at Tampa City Council Thursday.

Also behind it, Nick Friedman, co-founder of College Hunks Hauling Junk. The young entrepreneur moved onto Bayshore six years ago.

“If Tampa is going to be the city of the future we have to start with Bayshore,” he said.

But closing the 6-mile stretch isn’t without its hurdles: Cost, permitting, and security were brought up as concerns. 

Chris Trevena pointed to the inconvenience for drivers.

"It would be frustrating. I take Bayshore to Ybor from my other job. It would be much more distance,” Trevena said. 

Still, proponents say 500 cities across the globe have similar programs. Will Tampa and its bayside-Broadway be next?

City council plans to hold a workshop on the issue next month.

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