New Tampa says it needs a bridge; he says 'No way’ | Feb. 9
Bridge would be an unjust solution
Thanks for an excellent presentation of the Tampa Palms road issues on Feb. 9. I wish to address some of the city's arguments.
First, that a bridge alone from West Meadows into Tampa Palms was always written into city plans: Private entities cannot build across interstate highways. While the city took that responsibility from the developers, it also incorporated the bridge into the east-west connector.
Second, Steve Daignault implied that impact fees were collected for the bridge, requiring that it be built. The city's own records indicate use of the funds for the bridge were permissive, not mandatory. Funds were collected, but NOT required to be spent on the bridge.
Third, it is clear from the city's own study for the east-west connector that without the connector, the city does not meet state concurrency requirements. By building only the bridge, the city seeks to dump many of the 31,000 cars per day that the connector would have handled onto Tampa Palms Boulevard and argue they have satisfied concurrency. They have told Tampa Palms to anticipate only 3,100 cars per day in additional traffic.
Fourth, Mr. Daignault acknowledged to me that one route can substitute for another for concurrency; and that widening Cross Creek Boulevard and Morris Bridge Road would meet the requirements except for K-Bar Ranch II at County Line Road.
That solution places the traffic load in the communities causing the load, and not into a community that, the city admits, is not. It seems that approving K-Bar Ranch II is more important to the city than preserving Tampa Palms.
The county alleges it is considering six-laning the northern and southern portions of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard to complete the project sooner. It is not. I was informed in December that the county decided against that alternative.
I found out in January that the impact of ending the widening in the middle of Tampa Palms, creating a funnel and traffic backup for 10 years, was not even discussed. The discussion was about the effect on light rail.
These facts are more infuriating as neither the city nor county requested federal infrastructure funding to correct this problem. County requests went to other projects, even though the county's own surveys show the south end of Bruce B. Downs is Hillsborough's most failed road. The city made no request for the connector, which has not been built because of a lack of funds. The county is proceeding to widen northern Bruce B. Downs 10 years ahead of the southern part. The northern part is not even listed as a failed road. Forty-seven percent of traffic on the northern portion is Pasco County traffic.
City and county staff argue that the projects will help people get to the Shops at Wiregrass. Great. Hillsborough and Tampa tax funds support Pasco County projects, while Hillsborough residents languish.
Today, it is us; tomorrow, it is you.
Warren Dixon, Tampa Palms
Traffic calming in Carrollwood Village
Causing problems to fix a nonissue
I've lived in Carrollwood Village for nearly 15 years. In that time I've heard about many complaints of speeders using S Village, W Village and N Village drives to cut through our neighborhood. Many of these complaints are blown way out of proportion, since the roads mentioned were designed as feeder roads out of the village to Ehrlich Road and Dale Mabry Highway. There are absolutely NO RESIDENCES on any of these roads as the original developers designed the community in such a way that residences are clustered in neighborhoods leading out to these main collectors.
When I heard that there was to be traffic calming to slow people down, I had mixed emotions as I travel these roads daily and I did not particularly want traffic to be bottled up. I expected that before any measure was enacted that I would get to vote as a resident. I never was offered that opportunity. Now we have a big mess. The speed tables and humps are terrible. Not only do you have to nearly stop to travel over them, but even at low speeds they slam your car and nearly bottom out the suspension. I am sure they are ruining the shocks on any car that crosses over them. In addition, there was obviously no standard used for the various humps and speed tables. On N Village there are four sets of humps and tables within just a few blocks. My neighbors and I are furious about them. I hope a solution is found soon.
Tom Shepherd, Carrollwood