TAMPA, Fla. - The city of Tampa is rolling out new bike lanes in hopes of offering more protection to cyclists.
Flexible, white tubes - called delineators - are now installed along several sections of Bayshore Boulevard and other popular bike routes. The delineators separate driving lanes from the bicycle lane.
Bicyclist advocate Christine Acosta says they will benefit both motorists and riders.
"First of all, if I'm on my bike, that's one less car in your way. And if I'm on my bike, in a clearly delineated space, then you know where I'm going to be and we can share safely and efficiently," Acosta explained.
The Bayshore delineators cost more than $8,000. They are installed at intersections and curves where engineers say they will be most effective.
The city isn't installing the delineators along the entire length of Bayshore Boulevard, at least for now.
"Sometimes if you overuse a product it becomes ineffective or a maintenance issue where they're knocked down and become another safety hazard," says Jean Duncan, the city's transportation director.
She says crews will be improving bike lanes across the city over the next year as part of Mayor Jane Castor's Transforming Tampa's Tomorrow (T3) Initiative.
Workers are also installing more reflective pavement markers on Bayshore to help delineate lanes. They say the markers and delineators will cause motorists to drive more slowly.
Acosta would like to see speed limits lowered on all city streets to 30, or even 25 miles an hour.
Duncan says Tampa can make even more improvements when funding from a voter-approved transportation tax becomes available.