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Do you support the proposed toll increase for the Pinellas Bayway?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont know if anytone has noticed but on my way back from Brandon last night I took the bottom(non elevated ) portion of the crosstown back to Tampa. They have almost every support column uplight from the ground and personally I think its a really cool effect. I dont think anyone else has posted this. What do you guys think? Like I said I think it looks pretty cool
 

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Yeah, it looks nice. I'd love for them to illuminate the traditional platforms - especially through DT. A bright, alternating "Floridian" color would really, well, illuminate the rather stagnant night scene DT.
 

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Frankly, I've never driven the Selmon-Crosstown at night. But I do know about the lighting system. I've seen nighttime renderings of the bridge (from URS) prior to the bridge's construction and they look real nice. From what I understand, there were also supposed to have been lights mounted along the underside bridge, right above the lower level to further illuminate the highway and replace the existing ground-level streetlights. That lighting system was shown in the renderings as well. Unfortunately, I can no longer find these renderings. They used to be on URS' website but are not there anymore since they redesigned the site. Furthermore, this lighting system never materialized (probably because of the collapse) and thus the existing streetlights remain (and they make the road look ugly too).
 

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It would be nice if Tampa lit up the crosstown and the interstate bridge over the Hillsborough river.

Take Miami and jacksonville as examples, It definitley adds character.
 

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Great idea, but that will cost money that we just can't seem to find. :(
 

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The 275 Hills River overpass isn't really visible to much. It's right outside my balcony, but that's about it. Since the river curves, you can't really see that overpass from much. You have to be pretty much walking the river, which I guess would make sense for the Riverwalk, but not at the moment.
 

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Well, if ORlando did it, Tampa would find the money - but Jax - not so sure and we certainly do not want to be like miami
 

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I-75 "tolled" express lane proposal

Pasco seeks study of adding toll lanes to I-75
WESLEY CHAPEL The study, which will take a year, would tell officials whether adding lanes is feasible and how much the tolls might cost.
By CHUIN-WEI YAP
Published August 24, 2007


Pasco County has asked Florida's Turnpike Enterprise to study the possibility of adding toll lanes, called "express lanes," to Interstate 75, officials from both agencies said.

The study, requested by county officials July 18, is expected to take a year, a turnpike planner said.

So far, the authority doesn't have answers to critical questions: how many express lanes, where they would begin and end, and how much tolls might cost.

But the state Department of Transportation has signaled that while it's open to the idea, it plans to keep six lanes of the interstate toll-free.

As traffic managers confront ballooning road-building costs and shrinking budgets, new ideas like these are getting the welcome mat on drawing boards across the Tampa Bay area.

Last week, Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan floated a proposal to build toll booths on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and County Line Road. The commission voted 5-2 to study the idea.

Express lanes are typically added toward highway medians. "The express lanes, the number of which we can't identify now, don't have as much access to on-ramp and off-ramp turbulence," said David Wood, an authority planner.

Because the Pasco section of I-75 is dominated by commuter traffic, the idea is to price the tolls according to the time of day.

"During the busiest time, the fee is increased to ensure the level of service is actually express service," Wood said.

It's called "congestion pricing," a policy that has seen variations in traffic-clogged areas from London to Singapore to Manhattan, he said. In the United States, State Road 91 in Orange County, Calif., was the first to build toll lanes alongside non-toll lanes, Wood said.

In Florida, state officials are exploring Hot Lanes - the acronym stands for "High Occupancy and Toll" - for I-95 in Miami-Dade County. But in the Pasco study, the state agency hasn't been involved yet.

"We never had formal meetings on it. However, we might have discussed it," said Don Skelton, the state's district manager in the Tampa Bay area.

"There is the general philosophy that if we have to widen more than six lanes, all options have to be examined and nothing is off the table." The express lanes would be "above and beyond" the planned expansion to six lanes, Wood said.

Kris Carson, the department's spokeswoman, said the DOT plans to hold a public meeting Sept. 13 on ideas for improvements to the I-75 corridor from Fowler Avenue in Tampa to State Road 52 in Pasco.

Wood said the study does not include Hillsborough County, which hasn't requested one from the authority.

Hillsborough officials haven't heard about Pasco's study. County Commissioner Rose Ferlita said she has heard the idea in concept but thought it would be "a little ways before it gets here."

Bob Campbell, the county's transportation chief, said Pasco had not asked Hillsborough to join the study.

"It takes a lengthy period of time and a lot of public involvement for something like that," he said. "We'd like to see a multimodal, coordinated solution. We do need new roads. If they want to entertain a conversation, we'd be open to it."

The state can't fund its $74-million plan to widen I-75 between Fowler Avenue and Bruce B. Downs from four to six lanes. The same goes for adding two lanes to I-75 from Bruce B. Downs to State Road 56, which would cost $82-million. Last month, Pasco tried but failed to persuade developers of the nearby Wiregrass Ranch to kick in funds for part of that project.

Money problems are prompting creative solutions everywhere. Turnpike officials recently completed a similar study for express lanes on I-75 in Collier and Lee counties, Wood said. In Pasco, it's not the first time toll proposals have originated from county offices.

In April, county officials held out the possibility of turning the Ridge Road extension into an 8.5-mile toll road.

Turnpike planners also are studying that project and expect to wrap up their findings this fall. But the preliminary sense is that Pasco's southern portion of I-75 still does not have enough traffic to warrant toll lanes, Baker said.

Wood said Pasco sees heavy jams during peak hours - southward in the mornings and northward in the evenings - but it could take longer periods of congestion before express lanes are justified.

"Until you have urban congestion - the kind of thing you typically see on the I-275 in Tampa or I-95 in Miami, where you have four- to five-hour peaks - that is the kind of congestion that would make people drive on toll lanes," Wood said.

Among other things, the Pasco study would also look into average incomes, types of trips and percentage of commuters on local stretches of I-75, he said.

"We may not be there yet, but we've asked them to study it," Baker said.

Chuin-Wei Yap can be reached at 813 909-4613 or [email protected].

[Last modified August 24, 2007, 08:13:42]

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/08/24/Northoftampa/Pasco_seeks_study_of_.shtml
 

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Now wait just a minute! Didn't our "friendly" representative John Mica ban stuff like this from being built? He certainly killed off Xpress 400. What is that language in all that anyway? Are all tolled lanes within interstates banned? Please! Someone clairify this issue!
 

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The prohibition of tolls applied to the Orlando Xpress 400 project specifically. There are a number of interstates around the US that have some form of tolling implemented. One study that the article left out was the possible tolled express lanes in the median of I-4 in Hillsborough County. Congestion pricing and HOT lanes are the wave of the future and basically the only funding option for expansion of existing highway infrastructure.
 

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Crosstown commute to get tricky

Crosstown commute to get tricky
Sunday, September 9, 2007


Crosstown road repair map

TAMPA (Bay News 9) -- Lane closures and delays are both included in a new project to repair three Crosstown Expressway bridges.

The road work involves replacing surface panels on the three bridges that have deteriorated from three decades of commuter traffic.

Expressway Authority spokesperson Sue Chrzan said the existing panels aren't a danger to vehicles. But the old layered design allowed water to seep in and accelerate decay.

"This has been done on I-75 and 275 across the state," Chrzan said. "Basically what they're doing on the bridges is they're taking out the deck panels and pouring new deck panels. Before, it was poured in two phases and water got in and that kind of ruined it. This time they're pouring one, thicker piece."

The three bridges are just west of the main toll plaza. They pass over 50th Street, Maydell Drive and a CSX railroad track in between.

The bridges will be reduced to one travel lane while the work is being done.

To speed up the process crews will be working on both the eastbound and westbound lanes on all three bridges at the same time. Construction work is expected to last about eight months.

Chrzan said the best way for commuters to avoid the road work will be to use the elevated reversible lanes bridge that won't be affected.

"Now with the reversible lanes, hopefully we can get the people up on the reversible lanes so there won't be such a tie-up," Chrzan said.

The contract has been awarded and design preparations are underway. Work should begin early next month.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) will oversee construction on the $6.3 million bridge repair project. The work will also affect traffic on 50th Street and Maydell Drive at certain times.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2007/9/9/286404.html?title=Crosstown+commute+to+get+tricky

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In short people; if you have a SunPass or Toll-by-Plate Account, USE THE UPPER DECK! Sorry if you don't have either or use the X-town to get to/from MacDill.
 

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Beltway plan on table again

Beltway plan on table again
By CATHERINE E. SHOICHET, MIKE BRASSFIELD and MICHAEL VAN SICKLER, Times Staff Writers
Published September 19, 2007

TAMPA - The beltway is back.

A four-county bypass that was shunted aside by controversy is now part of a new transportation plan for south Hillsborough. And it may soon be included in the county's long-term plan for growth.

"We're not the decisionmakers on this," county transportation planning manager Ned Baier said. "We're just recognizing it might happen."

But opponents of the beltway say its inclusion in the south county plan, which details recommended transportation improvements through 2050, is significant.

In the next few months, the Planning Commission and county commissioners are scheduled to consider adding it to the comprehensive plan, a blueprint for how the county will grow. That would allow the county to start setting aside land for the project, and could guide future funding.

"All this transportation plan does is open the floodgates for sprawl in south county," County Commissioner Rose Ferlita said. "It's a mess."

But whether any government agency actually will build the beltway remains to be seen.

The county can't afford it. The state Department of Transportation is focusing on improving existing highways. And the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority, which proposed the 70-mile road last year, is no longer actively seeking to build it.

The Planning Commission could begin considering the proposed south county plan as early as next month. But the agency has asked county commissioners to delay their review until early next year.

If the Planning Commission delays its review, Baier said the county will host more public meetings seeking feedback in October.

Fast Facts:

Other recommendations in the South County Transportation Plan include:

- 126 additional lane miles along existing roads and 119 additional lane miles of new construction

- New I-75 interchanges at Apollo Beach Boulevard and Rhodine Road

- A new east-west corridor from I-75 to U.S. 301 south of Sun City Center

- Two new bridge crossings over the Alafia River, at 78th Street and Valerie Lane

For more details about the proposed South County Transportation Plan, go to http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/pgm/transportation/transystem/southcountytransplan.cfm

[Last modified September 18, 2007, 23:44:50]

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/09/19/Hillsborough/Beltway_plan_on_table.shtml
 
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