Ybor City Bans Truck Traffic, Eyes A Balanced Future

January 30, 2017

As heavy truck traffic is removed from the streets of Ybor City, efforts to return the area to its place as one of West Florida's most vibrant urban neighborhoods receive a major boost.

Three lanes have been slimmed down to two lanes in order to accommodate the inclusion of bike lanes and the widening of sidewalks. Shade trees and historically compatible lamp posts and street furniture have been added along these new sidewalks.

Founded by Casimire Hernandez, founding family descendants of Ybor City, The Columbia Restaurant is Florida's oldest restaurant. With more than 1,200 seats spread across a dozen rooms, it is also the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. Heavy truck traffic would shake the building's foundation, leading to constant maintenance issues.

After just a few weeks since the banning of heavy truck traffic, existing businesses fronting 22nd Street are beginning to embrace a return to the 'café culture' that once made Ybor City a popular residential neighborhood.

Residential buildings like these once lined 22nd Street before heavy truck traffic re-shaped the area. The few historical structures still remaining along this stretch bear the scars of living next to an incompatible use.

Several parcels of land exist on choice locations along 21st and 22nd Streets, primed for private investment and infill development

Sidewalks have been widened and historical crosswalks have been repaired along 21st and 22nd Streets in order to prioritize pedestrian users.

Next: A look at existing assets within Ybor City

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