Study reveals dangers along Busch Boulevard

Busch Boulevard’s speed limit may be 45 miles per hour, but the owner of Mel's Hot Dogs knows, it's not the average.

"The average speed is 52 miles an hour,” Mel Lohn said.

Lohn said, an FDOT engineer gave him the statistics in the weeks after this car crashed into his restaurant back on October 31st. And it wasn't the first time.

Speaking to Tampa City Council Thursday morning, he wants to make sure it's the last.

"I've watched Busch Blvd become an intensely dangerous street,” Lohn said. 

FDOT has been studying traffic there for more than a year. Its District Safety Program Engineer Peter Shu said lowering the speed limit won't help.

"Without the enforcement ticketing the people 24/7, it will not work. People will drive whatever speed they like to drive,” he said. 

Right now, FDOT’s plan is to install four flashing pedestrian crosswalks like the ones on Bayshore Boulevard and East Hillsborough.

"That signal will be activated frequently, and drivers will definitely need to stop," Shu said. "We installed three of those products on East Hillsborough Avenue, and we have the data of three years and we see the crashes have been reduced by 60%." 

Councilman Luis Viera said, it's a start, but he's hoping for more. 

"Crosswalks are very important, but I want to see safety designs so that ultimately we can have a lower speed limit on Bush Blvd,” Viera said. “I think if you get, you know, just five miles per hour less than Busch Blvd, that's going to save lives."