Tampa Bay Express
Read the fine print in TBX project
The Florida Department of Transportation is hosting a series of "information sessions" regarding Tampa Bay Express (TBX). Curious as to just what they would present about this extremely controversial project, I attended the session last Tuesday at the Brandon library. I was particularly interested in what they had to say about the toll lanes, which are the major feature of this plan. The word "toll" appears only once (and in microscopic print) in the four-page glossy invitation. The new branding of TBX appears to be "More than just express lanes!" (which gets them around calling them toll lanes, which indeed they are). The video does not present a balanced picture of TBX.
For those who may have seen FDOT's syrupy "Library Tour" spiel, please consider what they omit:
• Over 100 homes and businesses will be destroyed by TBX (over and above the numerous properties the DOT has already purchased in anticipation of this as-yet-unfunded portion of TBX).
• Our existing free lanes must each become narrower in order to accommodate toll lanes, making our interstates more dangerous.
• The toll may approach $2 per mile to use the express lanes.
• The DOT has still not provided the human impact of this project, even though the MPO (and several private citizens) have repeatedly requested it.
• The DOT has still not notified the residents in the path of TBX that their homes are in danger of being taken.
The DOT is not the benevolent overlord they would have us believe. Don't take what they say at face value. Inform yourselves about the full impact of this devastating project.
Julie Harris, Tampa