E. 131st Avenue PLAT Study


which could be used for a combination stormwater facility and recreation facility. Other opportunities include a partnership with a major redevelopment project for funding to purchase a parcel or using a property acquired through other means. After the property is acquired, the cost of obtaining the property and constructing the stormwater facility can be offset as developers purchase credits. The wetland would also help with floodplain mitigation as much of the E. 131 st Avenue corridor is within the AE Floodplain. By using the stormwater facility as a park or recreation space, the interruption of the built environment is minimized, as the facility is not presented as a fenced vacant parcel but as a usable community resource. Maintenance issues can also be addressed as a park would have more frequent care than a stormwater facility. Furthermore, using the stormwater facility also addresses the lack of recreation space in the E. 131 st Avenue corridor. Having smaller neighborhood recreation facilities also promotes cycling and walking, as that would be the easiest method of accessing the facility for local residents. The Lucy Dell Community Pond is an example of an existing combination stormwater and recreation facility in Hillsborough County. Recommendation 9: Develop a Street Tree program and Install Pedestrian Scale Lighting on E. 131 st Avenue and neighboring streets. Trees in urban areas have multiple benefits including providing cleaner air, increasing property values and improving pedestrian comfort. Street trees, when planted to create a canopy, have an added benefit of creating a tunnel effect and slowing vehicle traffic. Planting shade trees in

the planting strip between the roadway and the sidewalk make walking and cycling more attractive, especially in a warm climate. 3 Having a comprehensive street tree plan, trees of a similar crown type and maturation rate can be planted, leading to the tunnel effect and improved aesthetics. In addition, one common neighborhood attribute mentioned in the University Area/ Tampa Innovation District Community Safety Action Plan that may impact safety was a conflict between trees and lighting, contributing to dark public spaces at night. 4 The installation of pedestrian scale lighting along with proper tree trimming, would address a lot of these issues. The provision of pedestrian scale lighting will also help transit riders feel more secure about using transit at night. While all streets would benefit from pedestrian scale lighting, concentrating a limited budget on providing resources on E. 131 st Avenue, N. 19 th Street, N. 20 th Street and N. 15 th Street would be a priority based on pedestrian concentrations and transit connections.


3 Dan Burden, “Urban Street Trees: 22 Benefits Specific Applications,” Walkable Communities Inc. (Summer 2006, accessed 2/25/2019), http://www.walkable.org/ download/22_benefits.pdf. 4 Ken Stapleton & Associates, “University Area/Tampa Innovation District Community Safety Action Plan,” (December, 2016)


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