Walkability Taking Tampa To Next Level

Back in the 1970s, between years of grad school, I rode the rails around the country on an Amtrak railpass. When the pass and my cash expired, I found myself in Tampa. I got a room at the fleabag Hotel Floridan and landed a server job at a 24-hour restaurant near the University of Tampa.

For fun on days off, I’d hoof all the way from downtown out to WestShore Plaza to hang at the mall for a couple hours. Except for an occasional drunk lurching from a tavern around Kennedy Blvd. and, say, Himes Ave., I was the only one along the entire route even thinking about walking.

What a difference 42 years makes.