For the past six months, traffic has been on the mind of the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization.
A recent study listed the worst intersections in the county and matched each with possible solutions to help traffic navigate faster and safer. The goal was to identify parts of the county with the worst traffic congestion and then find ways to cut down on the number of crashes on those roads.
"If we can do something to reduce crashes, we'll improve congestion and quality of life will go up," project manager Gena Torres said.
Torres said fixing the intersections with the worst records will take some out-of-the-box thinking.
"Now it comes down to really looking in-depth at the worst places and saying, 'Oh, we thought maybe this would work here and it doesn't look like it, let's try this other strategy,'" she said.
For some of the intersections it may mean replacing the existing intersection with a round-a-bout or perhaps making some of our busiest streets, like Fowler Avenue, into boulevards.
One suggestion is to cut down on the number of left turns at the intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Waters Avenue. By eliminating left turns, the MPO estimates a quarter of all intersection injury crashes could be avoided.
Normally, the MPO makes planning suggestions for well into the future. However, because city, county and state officials were consulted as the study was evolving, many projects are already in the planning stages.
More information can be found on the Hillsborough County M.P.O. Long Range Transportation Plan.