Watching Issac…

Hi everyone,

The RNC is just days away. Unfortunately, we now have a significant hurricane threat on our hands.

Tropical Storm Issac formed in the Atlantic roughly a week ago and the projected path sends the storm right into Florida during the week of the RNC. Not far behind Issac is Tropical Storm Joyce, which formed a few days ago. The big question right now is whether the Issac will strengthen into a hurricane by this weekend. It is quite possible that it will reach at least Category 1 status by Saturday, depending on its track and how much wind sheer (if any) it encounters. The second question is where will the storm make landfall?

Government officials here in Tampa are prepared to cancel the RNC if the threat from Issac becomes too great, which I certainly cannot blame them if this circumstance occurs. There are so many visitors, in addition to residents, that would need to be evacuated…and FAST, if the storm were to move our way.

Because the weather changes so much, I would advise everyone to stay tuned to their local TV stations (like Bay News 9) for updates.

With that said, I wanted to remind everyone about how important it is to be prepared for the Hurricane season and to inform everyone that you do have options if you are not able to evacuate from the Bay Area.

Click “Continue Reading” to read further on my previous posting about the 2012 Hurricane Season.

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RNC Roundup

Hi Everyone,

Despite my computer troubles, I was determined to get at least one post up this week. With the Republican National Convention just days away; you may have noticed many of the temporary venues going up in downtown Tampa. At this point; many municipal government offices in downtown Tampa are beginning to pack their bags and move to satellite locations, where they can continue offering services while being away from the security perimeter that is being set up around the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the event will be held. Both HART and PSTA have finalized (for the most part) which transit services will be detoured during the week-long event. You can view the link below to see more information regarding the various road closures and transit detours during the convention.

I must stress once again that if you don’t need to be in downtown Tampa or downtown St. Pete when the many events are in motion; please avoid the areas altogether. Though St. Pete will be in the midst of the opening celebrations at Tropicana Field, an event zone has been set up throughout the city for the duration of the convention, so many streets in the area may remain closed for the entire week. However; if you do plan to be in the area; please be mindful of the heightened security presence and tons and tons of protesters. I certainly don’t want to see anyone hurt because the rules were not followed. With that said; I wish everyone a safe and wonderful rest of the month! I will be slow to post my other posts due to limited internet access, etc. for the next few weeks.

For a summary of the latest transit detours and road closures; click here.


Warmest Regards;

HARTride 2012

RNC = Road Closures & Transit Detours

Please note that due to the rapidly changing information; this post will be periodically updated. Be sure to check back for updates. The last update to this post was on 7/31/12.

On July 23, 2012, the US Secret Service unveiled its listing of roadway closures throughout the Tampa Bay Area during the Republican National Convention. And boy do we have a lot of thoroughfares on the list. Most of the closures will be centered in around downtown Tampa; where the event will be held. However, due to RNC events in downtown St. Pete; some roadways there will be closed as well.

In Tampa; some of the roadways to be closed during the RNC (which will be held August 26 through the 30) include the following:

  • Bayshore Blvd northeast of Swann Ave (Access will be available to the Davis Islands)
  • Platt St, Brorien St, and Frankland St bridges
  • Basically every single downtown roadway south of Whiting St (access to Harbour Island will be limited)
  • The Lee Roy Selmon Expressway between Willow Ave and 50th St (the Reversible Lanes will remain open)
  • Tampa Bay Blvd between Dale Mabry Hwy & Himes Ave

In St. Pete; many city roadways will be closed; in addition to Interstate 175.

In addition to the roadway closures; parking and pedestrian access through both cities will be restricted.

For the full list of roadways impacted (including maps of the affected areas); click here. To view the article on Bay News 9; click here.

Click “Continue Reading” for updates on Public Transit Restrictions/Detours.

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The RNC is just around the corner.

I’m sure many of you have been hearing for months now about the Republican National Convention coming to Tampa. But here’s a question that you may not have been able to quite answer yet; have you planned out your commute during the event?

For some, the answer may be to completely avoid downtown Tampa at all costs. I am fortunate to be one of those people who can just take Dale Mabry Highway to Busch Boulevard and be on my way. However, I know many of you out there may have to go through downtown Tampa and not have very many options available to avoid the impending gridlock. For one thing, many city streets will be closed during the event (which is to be held August 25 through 27, 2012). This includes the Platt St Bridge, which sends traffic underneath the convention center and next to the Tampa Bay Times Forum (where the event will be held). The bridge will most certainly be closed due to security reasons. But other major thoroughfares may end up closing too. They include, but are not limited to; Channelside Dr, Brorien St (including the bridge), and yes…even the Selmon Expressway viaduct through downtown could be closed.

We probably won’t know the full extent of the road closures until just a couple weeks before the event because the US Secret Service will ultimately determine the security perimeter around the Forum and which thoroughfares will close.

Public transit will also be heavily affected by the RNC. In fact, a vast majority of HART’s bus routes, as well as both of PSTA’s express bus routes, traverse through Downtown Tampa. As a result, you can expect a lot of detours throughout downtown. My guess is that many routes will detour via Cass & Tyler Streets and then enter the Marion Transit Center through that route. My suggestion to you is to keep up to date with HART, PSTA, and local news outlets for the latest updates regarding traffic conditions, transit detours, and road closures. In addition, many government offices will be closed or have operations housed temporarily in other locations throughout Tampa Bay during the convention, so you will need to check with the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County government websites to see if the office of the service you’re inquiring about will be closed the weekend of the RNC.

For those of you who do not need to go through downtown on a daily basis, I will say again, please avoid downtown at all costs.

Please note that when the security perimeter has been finalized; HART will let patrons know about which services will be affected. You can read HART’s blog for more info on that.

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012