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THEA Releases Gandy Boulevard Traffic Study Data

THEA Releases Gandy Boulevard Traffic Study Data

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Study indicates significant safety benefits and traffic reductions along the South Tampa corridor since the opening of the Selmon Extension

Tampa, FL (April 26, 2023) – When the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) opened the Selmon Extension in 2021, the 1.9-mile toll lane located in the median of Gandy Boulevard was intended to provide a direct connection for regional travelers who had been utilizing the local lanes of Gandy Boulevard to reach destinations beyond the South Tampa Corridor. The regional travelers’ commute, combined with the local business travelers, caused delays and congestion for residents and shoppers living in the adjacent neighborhoods. The Extension offered a safer and more efficient route, with preliminary data showing that the opening would significantly reduce intersection traffic signal wait times at Westshore Boulevard, Manhattan Boulevard, Lois Avenue, and Dale Mabry Highway to move traffic more efficiently.

DoMA Home Furnishings, General Manager Rosanna Davis said, “Gandy Blvd is a great location for a furniture store like DoMA. The addition of the Westshore Marina District and updated shopping plazas have boosted the popularity of this part of town. The Selmon Extension has allowed for the additional traffic to move easily throughout the corridor or to bypass it quickly. We have seen a marked difference in traffic flow since the opening of the extension. Not only is it easier for us to get to work, but our customers have remarked on how much easier it is to get to us.”

Davis’ observation appears to be spot on. Today, THEA released the findings of a Gandy Boulevard traffic study comparing traffic wait times, crashes, and speed ratios in the two years prior to the Selmon Extension’s opening to the operational years of the Extension in 2021 and 2022 (note- 2020 was excluded due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The scope of the traffic study was limited to the South Tampa segment of Gandy Boulevard at the Westshore Boulevard intersection to the Bayshore Boulevard intersection.

“When you are in the early planning and delivery of transportation projects, you work to communicate the benefits that were modeled using best transportation practices. This data indicates what the travelers along this route are experiencing, which are the safety and traffic benefits THEA outlined here, indicating that the Selmon Extension is doing exactly what we said it would do – and that is important to our entire team,” said Greg Slater, Executive Director and CEO, THEA.

The study indicates safety and traffic improvements along Gandy Boulevard, including the following key findings:

  • 22% decrease in crashes along Gandy Boulevard from 2018 to 2022.
  • Reduction in crashes between 22% to 42% for the top three crash types (rear end, angle, and sideswipe), and the associated economic benefit.
  • Reduction in crashes between 7% to 36% at the four signalized intersections along Gandy Boulevard.
  • Reductions between 12% to 64% in crashes related to Dark-Lighted, Dawn, and Dusk lighting conditions.
  • Travel times were reduced significantly along Gandy Boulevard after the construction of The Selmon Extension
  • The speeds are uniform and closer to the posted speed, thus creating safer conditions along Gandy Boulevard.

The traffic study was presented to THEA’s Board at its monthly meeting on Monday, April 24. THEA Board Chairman, Vincent Cassidy, added, “While we were concerned that during construction of the Selmon Extension, the businesses along Gandy would be impacted, our hope was post-construction businesses would benefit from less commuter traffic backing up the road, leaving the corridor available to those that want to shop Gandy. We aimed to deliver a safer and more connected route, and while our region has experienced tremendous growth, and more vehicles on our road, the data from this study proves we’ve accomplished the goal of a safer, more reliable driving experience. I am very proud of our team – nothing makes me happier than delivering on our promises.”

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ABOUT THEA

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is a user-financed public agency led by a Board of local citizens. The dynamic transportation agency owns, manages, and operates the Selmon Expressway, Meridian Avenue, Brandon Parkway, and the Selmon Greenway. With over 200,000 daily expressway commuters and thousands of pedestrians utilizing THEA’s urban trail networks, the agency is focused on serving and investing in the community to transform and excel with transportation options that enhance the quality of life. Using toll revenues and bonds, all tolls collected by THEA are reinvested back into projects in Hillsborough County.

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