Hillsborough residents have a chance to weigh in on transportation issues

Hillsborough MPO Citizens Advisory Committee. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (10 August 2016).

On WMNF’s MidPoint Monday we talked about a range of Tampa Bay area transportation issues.

The Florida Department of Transport (FDOT) recently came out with its preferred plan for the interchange that’s often called “Malfunction Junction.” It’s where I-4 ends at I-275 near downtown Tampa. Originally this intersection was going to get renovated through something called TBX. But after complaints, including how it would impact neighborhoods, the FDOT reorganized and rebranded the plan as Tampa Bay Next. This new plan is supposed to require less land. It would add lanes, but not variable-toll lanes and is expected to cost $175 million. There will be a public hearing in February.

While there are no toll lanes planned for this interchange, there are toll lanes planned for the Pinellas, Howard Frankland Bridge and Westshore segments.

On Tuesday there’s a Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Board and long range transportation plan 2045 public hearing.

The MPO Board meeting is Tuesday, November 5, from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. at Hillsborough County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa.

In October FDOT announced there would be a $1.4 billion makeover of the Westshore area interchanges.

Sunshine Citizens is requesting that the MPO’s long range transportation plan (lrtp) include the well-being of people through an “Equity, Access & Climate Resiliency” category.

We talked briefly about whether Boulevard Tampa was still a possibility? Cookson said that, yes, it’s still being studied.

Last Friday, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor unveiled a transportation plan. Among other things, she wants to revise Tampa’s land development code to increase density, reduce parking and create more affordable housing. Other priorities include modernizing and expanding Streetcar service, expanding bus service, considering using CSX rail lines for commuter rail and connecting Tampa to Orlando by rail.

We also played audio from a June interview by WMNF of local FDOT district secretary David Gwynn about Tampa’s trolley and other transportation options.

Listen to the show here.

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