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Transportation talks in Hillsborough not appeasing pro-transit activists listen

06/18/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Transportation, transit, Hillsborough County, The Sierra Club, buses, Sandra Murman, Phil Compton

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Groups who want more transit options in Hillsborough County like improved bus routes and rail say there’s too much emphasis on roads. They’re pushing back against a plan that will be presented next week.

“We’re concerned that the policy leadership group spent 6 separate meetings talking about road projects, 5 separate occasions about governance, but now plans to talk about transit just one time before approving a plan for review and we’re afraid such a plan will be D.O.A.”

That’s Phil ...

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Dueling Pinellas groups argue transit sales tax in the rain listen

05/28/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Greenlight Pinellas, transit, buses, bus rapid transit, Transportation, Pinellas County, No Tax for Tracks

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The duel between pro-transit and anti-rail groups in Pinellas County is heating up ahead of November’s referendum. At issue, whether or not to hike sales tax by a penny to fund transit improvements including a cross-county passenger rail line. In demonstrations at the intersection of Bryan Dairy and Belcher Road Tuesday evening Groups were evenly split at about a dozen apiece. Shannon Evans carried a Greenlight Pinellas sign while holding her nine-month old son.

“It’s the only way to get ...

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Coast to Coast Florida bike trail could be getting a funding boost listen

05/22/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Coast to Coast Connector, Pinellas Trail, Suncoast Trail, biking, Cycling, pedestrian, transit

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Update: on 2 June 2014 Governor Scott signed this bill.

A bike path connecting St. Pete to Florida’s space coast may be getting a $15.5 million boost. State lawmakers passed a bill that would fund some projects along the Coast to Coast Connector planners having been hoping to finish for years.

“It took these people taking a 40,000 foot view to see all these little pieces that were actually on the ground and then they said, ‘why don’t you just connect these gaps?’”

That’s Steve Di...

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New study ranks Tampa Bay second worst in nation for pedestrian deaths listen

05/20/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: pedestrian safety, roads, transit, Transportation, Complete Streets, Dangerous by Design, Cycling

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A 70-year old retired police officer was killed Tuesday after being struck by a vehicle in Clearwater Tuesday morning. Doug Carey was working as a crossing guard at the intersection of Gulf to Bay Boulevard and Belcher Road. Two toddlers who were passengers in a car that ran a red light were also injured.

A new pedestrian safety study lists the Tampa Bay area as the second most dangerous place to walk in the country. The [National Complete Streets Coalition](http://www.smartgrowthamerica....

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Pedestrian accident in Tampa revives safety debate listen

05/19/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: pedestrian, Cycling, Lisa Montelione, transit, Transportation, roads, road safety

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A 12-year old boy was struck by a car while crossing Busch Boulevard Monday morning. According to Tampa Police, the Van Buren Middle School student wasn’t badly injured, but the accident again raises the issue of what to do about the growing incidents of pedestrian accidents in Tampa. City Council member Lisa Montelione has been a passionate proponent for changes to Busch Boulevard and other busy thoroughfares that would reduce pedestrian and cycling-related crashes.

“Changing the medians...

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Both sides of Pinellas County transit referendum say the other is spreading misinformation listen

04/10/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Ken Welch, psta, Greenlight Pinellas, transit, bus, rail, Pinellas County, Barbara Haselden

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Both sides of a controversial transit referendum in Pinellas County think the other is spreading misinformation. During a debate at Suncoast Tiger Bay Club Thursday, PSTA board member Ken Welch accused the group No Tax for Tracks of blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Welch was interrupted by longtime opponent David McKalip.

"There are so many misinformation items being put out there. Look, I'm used to this because I was chairman during the fluoride debate, Dr. McAlister. I'm use...

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Mayor Buckhorn announces plan to keep police chief one more year during State of the City address listen

03/25/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Bob Buckhorn, Jane Castor, Tampa, North Boulevard Homes, transit, Transportation, economic development, Rays

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced during his State of the City address Tuesday that police Chief Jane Castor will stay on for at least one more year after retiring in May. That means she’ll stay in “the drop” which some consider double dipping - collecting a paycheck and pension. Buckhorn said he wants to keep Chief Castor on board because crime has dropped 69% in the city.

“You know what that means? That means there’s over 150,000 less victims. That’s us. The men and women of the Tampa ...

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Anti-rail activist rallies against Pinellas transit plan

03/14/14 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Tags: transit, Greenlight Pinellas, rail, Barbara Haseldon, No Tax for Tracks

The Greenlight Pinellas Plan as its called would fund things like increased bus service, bus rapid transit and 24 miles of light rail connecting downtown St. Pete, the Carillon business district in mid-county and Clearwater. The one penny tax hike would raise Pinellas’ sales tax from 7% to 8% and would grow PSTA’s revenue from about $30 million to $130 million. The campaign pushing the referendum calls this a tax swap because the sales tax would replace the portion of property taxes currently...

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Public transportation use up in Tampa Bay and the nation listen

03/13/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: psta, HART, APTA, transit, Transportation, bus rapid transit, BRT, rail, Greenlight Pinellas

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Transit agencies on both sides of Tampa Bay posted record ridership for the month of February. Bus rides in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties have continued to increase, mirroring a national trend of growing public transportation use. Bob Lasher, spokesperson for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, says many routes are running at capacity.

“Not just at rush hour, but during the middle portion of the day, we’re running buses that are having – we’re putting extra buses out because we ...

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U.S. Rep. Castor OK with SOCOM funding despite sea level rise concerns listen

03/07/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: kathy castor, Greenlight Pinellas, transit, Macdill AFB, immigration reform, Ken Welch, David McKalip

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MacDill Air Force Base will fare well in the proposed 2015 federal budget. U.S. Representative Kathy Castor agrees with funding despite the threat of rising sea levels to the low-lying military base in South Tampa.

“Nothing really is built on the outer near the coastline, everything is up on grade. This is one place I’ve got to compliment the department of defense.”

President Obama’s proposed Pentagon budget includes a 10% boost in funding for U.S. Special Operations Command which is ...

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