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Revamp, don't widen, U.S. 19

Re: U.S 19 business corridor

Revamp, don't widen, U.S. 19

The Jan. 31 editorial is correct. With the changing of demographics and more focus on Trinity and the State Road 54 corridor, U.S. 19 is hurting. There is no argument when it comes to the 690,000 square feet of vacant retail space that the corridor needs help and quickly.

This is a corridor that was once filled with family owned businesses and restaurants, R.J. Gators, Mel's Diner and our infamous Gulf View Square Mall. Today, lease signs dot U.S. 19 from the Pinellas border to Hernando.

The recession is always a target for anything lately, but it's not the sole suspect in this issue. The main suspect is under our nose; it's U.S. 19. Many of the 65,000 motorists who drive the stretch every day can agree, what we have now is an underdeveloped stretch of roadway. Why open a business along U.S. 19 with the risk of one of your customers getting into an accident while trying to cross to the left side? Why open a business that will take your customers 30 minutes to get from the Pinellas border to New Port Richey during rush hour? Why a open a business that will have your customers waiting at 13 stop lights between the Pinellas border and Main Street in New Port Richey? With the likelihood of more residents and more drivers on U.S. 19 in the next few years, the 65,000 that drive the stretch now will experience longer times while waiting at more lights.

So, what do we do about the problem? Do what are friends in Pinellas have done; construct overpasses over U.S. 19's main intersections at Alternate U.S. 19, SR 54, Trouble Creek Road, Main Street, Ridge Road and so on. All need overpasses.

Some will ask why build overpasses now when our intersections aren't reaching the same amount of traffic Pinellas faced before constructing overpasses? My answer, why wait when it's finally a issue? Putting more lights and widening the road is not the answer. What also needs to be done is decreasing the amount of left turns that U.S. 19 has. The county should follow-up by building side streets to connect the businesses instead of putting lives in danger. And with the county's plan to add more businesses along SR 54/SR 56, the same will need to occur down the road to handle the increase of traffic.

What U.S. 19 needs is a redevelopment. Once the stretch is easier to drive on and businesses cannot worry about traffic being an issue, the corridor will see vast growth not only from retail and restaurants, but also from hotels and future residents. It's a issue now and it needs to be addressed now.

As a Boy Scout, we live off the Scout motto, "Be prepared." Board of County Commissioners, we're not prepared.

Mike Kramer, New Port Richey

Lax code control blighting Trinity

It seems the Trinity area is growing like (U.S. 19) did. It has taken 20-plus years for our area to slide by the wayside. Will that happen to Trinity? I think not.

For an example, look around the Embassy Hills area. It used to be a beautiful place to live and shop. Drive around now and see all the empty, run-down houses and others where people still live. No pride anymore, it seems.

I blame it on Pasco County Code Enforcement or lack thereof. They have turned a blind eye to the problems. The county is too busy planning future sports arenas, etc.

You can thank Pasco County for allowing our area to go to pot. Their answer is they don't have enough people to enforce the code violations. They've let it get so big, and now it's a bigger problem.

A house next to mine has been an eyesore for years. If I would like to sell my home, who would even bother to look at it? At one time, I even offered to buy paint if the owners would fix it up, but I got no response.

Come on Pasco County, get your act together and enforce all the codes you've made but don't enforce. I'm 84 years old and keep my place nice and do most of the work myself.

Marie Wolownik, Port Richey

Pilot flies back in time | Jan. 31 story

More WWII stories, please!

My wife and I are from Canada, spending our first winter together in Florida after she retired in the fall.

Your newspaper had a great article on a World War II veteran, Lt. Nick Radosevich, who had a decorative service during the war. While reading it, my eyes began to get misty.

My father served in World War II (1939-45) in Europe. He was torpedoed off the coast of Sicily at one point during those years. His job was getting supplies to the troops during that time when back on land.

A lot of the stories he and his cronies have told me are sad and some are funny. (He is still with me, at 89).

Not enough of these stories are published. It seems the only time is when Nov. 11 arrives and is then forgotten. All of us have to be very grateful to those brave men and women who gave us the freedom we now enjoy today.

Lest we forget!

Malcolm Malley, New Port Richey

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Revamp, don't widen, U.S. 19 02/06/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 6, 2010 3:37pm]
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