Walking

Walking is an important mode of travel in Pinellas County. Everyone is a pedestrian, and people make pedestrian trips on a daily basis, whether that means walking from the transit stop to work, walking from the parking lot to the store, or walking with children to school. Walking is also a great form of exercise. Our region places a high value on walkability and Forward Pinellas is working with local, state, and Federal government partners to ensure that walking is a safe, comfortable, and viable transportation option in Pinellas County.

Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Prioritizing pedestrian safety, comfort and accessibility is gaining ground in public decision-making and transportation investments, both locally and nationally. Recent jurisdictional and regional planning efforts have identified improving walkability as an important goal for Pinellas County. The U.S. Department of Transportation continues to promote better conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians. Walking is being treated more as a viable mode of transportation in its own right and as an indicator of a livable community; pedestrian improvements are no longer considered an “add-on” to roadway projects, but rather as an integral part of the transportation system.

Pinellas County still faces many challenges in improving our pedestrian environment. The Federal Highway Administration has selected Florida as a Pedestrian Safety Focus State due to a higher-than-average pedestrian fatality rate.  Given the interest in improving such challenges, Forward Pinellas in partnership with FDOT, law enforcement and local jurisdictions have developed the Pinellas County Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP) to establish a framework to realize improved pedestrian safety performance through the following processes:

  • Define the characteristics of the pedestrian crash problem in Pinellas County;
  • Identify short term actions to improve pedestrian safety;
  • Identify longer term policy initiatives to sustain pedestrian safety improvements;
  • Identify opportunities for interagency and intra‐agency coordination; and
  • Provide an opportunity for elected leaders to support agency staff in implementing short and long term strategies.

Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan

Pinellas County’s bicycle and pedestrian network consists of nearly 1,200 miles of bicycle lanes, trails and sidewalks and there is a strong commitment to further improve walking and cycling conditions. This long standing commitment is critical to creating environments where bicycling and walking are viable alternatives to automobile travel and through the efforts of local governments and the Florida Department of Transportation, substantial progress has been made toward this goal. The Facilities Element of the Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan is intended to further these efforts by facilitating the development of an extensive network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities that maximizes opportunities for people to get around the County by foot and bicycle.

downtown Clearwater

Walking Safety

Forward Pinellas takes part in cooperative efforts and programs to raise awareness of pedestrian safety. We regularly engage in public workshops and meetings of professional, civic, and social groups, and distribute safety information via brochures, newspaper articles, press releases, and social media posts.

Safe Routes to School

Through both infrastructure improvements and non-infrastructure programs, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) focuses on advancing safer walking and bicycling to and from schools to improve the health and well-being of children and to foster the creation of livable communities. Forward Pinellas supports environmentally sustainable, cost-effective, healthy, and equitable transportation modes by promoting safe walking and bicycling to, from, and around schools in Pinellas County. To learn more about SRTS programs, tools, and news, please visit the Florida Department of Transportation’s SRTS webpage.

Trail User Data Collection

Measuring bicycle and pedestrian activity on the Pinellas Trail is an important step towards understanding trail use as an active transportation alternative, identifying trends, and finding ways to improve safety and connectivity for people traveling by bike or on foot. In 2019, Forward Pinellas embarked upon an update of its Pinellas Trail User Survey, both in the field and with an online option.  The 2014 Pinellas Trail User Survey is currently available, and the results of the 2019 survey will be posted soon.

In addition, with funding provided through the Partnerships to Improve Community Health, Forward Pinellas purchased and installed automated bike/ped counters at selected locations along the Pinellas Trail, with the purpose of increasing the available data to make informed, evidenced-based decisions about the future bicycle and pedestrian transportation investments.

Walking Safety

Forward Pinellas takes part in cooperative efforts and programs to raise awareness of pedestrian safety. We regularly engage in public workshops and meetings of professional, civic, and social groups, and distribute safety information via brochures, newspaper articles, press releases, and social media posts.

Safety Tips

There’s a lot to look at out there. Don’t forget to watch for cars and bikes.

  • Cross at the corner and use the crosswalk.
  • Walk against traffic on roads with no sidewalks.
  • Wear light- or brightly-colored clothing and reflective patches.
  • Use lights at night.
  • Watch for turning vehicles.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing.
  • Establish eye contact with drivers and cyclists.
  • Stay to the right on off-street paths shared with cyclists.
  • Check the path: watch for uneven pavement, slick surfaces, curbs and ramps.

Other Resources

Below you will find links to various pedestrian resources.

National

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

USDOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Pedestrian Safety
NHTSA Crash Data Reports

AAA Pedestrian Safety

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Pedestrian Safety

Children’s Safety Network Pedestrian Safety

America WALKS
Alliance for Biking & Walking
National Complete Streets Coalition
Partnership for a Walkable America
United States Access Board

Rails to Trails Conservancy

State of Florida

Florida Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities
Florida Greenways and Trails
Local Groups by State

Pinellas County

BikeWalk Tampa Bay

WalkWise Florida