By the numbers
3 miles it stretches from Kennedy Boulevard to
2 number of north/south lanes the road is shrinking
19,700 current daily drivers
27,700 projected drivers by 2023
$11 -million, what
NEBRASKA AVENUE — Seminole Heights bicyclist Alan Snel used to avoid the treacherous potholes of the four-laned Nebraska Avenue.
But now that the southern section of the Florida Department of Transportation's $11-million Nebraska makeover is smoothed and re-striped, Snel uses new bike lanes to get downtown. He says the ride takes him 15 minutes.
"I get such a kick and a thrill out of seeing the bike lane inching more north," Snel said.
Don Taylor doesn't feel his enthusiasm. This month, street crews started working in front of his store, Green Shift Music and Comics, just south of Hillsborough Avenue. The project involves making the street two lanes in some places and adding a left-turn lane along the 3-mile stretch from downtown to Hillsborough.
Taylor thinks it favors homeowners over businesses, which thrive on high traffic volume. He said semitrailers have an easier time pulling into stores like his for deliveries on four-lane streets. Also, Taylor fears the center left-turn lanes will become a crash zone.
"I don't think the plan is sound," Taylor said. "I don't think the street is going to handle the traffic it has going down it."
Almost 20,000 cars travel the stretch each day, and that number is projected to grow to 21,100 by 2009 and 27,700 by 2023. But DOT spokeswoman Kris Carson said fewer lanes won't back up traffic.
"You actually can increase capacity by getting left-turners out of the way," she said.
The project began last summer and the street is already repaved north to Lake Avenue.