Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More on 1 way vs 2 way On Council agenda 9/6 at 9am

Tomorrow Morning City Council has a committee report on the conversion of Florida ave. and Highland/Tampa to 2 way. So is it important???. That depends on whether you want Florida Avenue to function as a commercial corridor serving the neighborhoods of Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights. That depends on whether it is important for the residents in South Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights to not have a virtual freeway running through what is for the most part a residential area.

DOT has naturally weighed in to conclude "Conversion to two-way is not feasible". Well DOT doesn't want it so let's just shape the conclusion that you want. Let's even make it difficult to compare the two parallel roads.

From Palm Avenue northward to Hillsborough Avenue it is possible to change the configuration on Florida Avenue without impacting 275 access to the south. From Hillsborough to Palm it is possible to change the configuration without impacting 275 access to the south on Tampa St.

Traffic counts north bound north of 275 are 12,000 (Florida)...half of what they are south of 275
Traffic counts southbound north of 275 are 9,500 (Tampa/Highland)

Since these are basically parallel roads a change to two-way traffic would have an affect on the traffic volume. We have basically 21,000 car trips on these two roads, divided between both under a two way configuration you are talking 10,750 on both roads. So there is not some greater degree of stress on the road way. You would have slightly reduced traffic stress on Florida and slightly more on Highland/Tampa.

What would we gain in our communities? Slower average traffic speeds in the residential stretch of Highland/Tampa. A Commercial Avenue that would be more viable for commercial redevelopment in the case of Florida Avenue. Commercial property functioning at a higher or best use will generate more revenue to the city not less. We gain by having a less blighted roadway and hopefully will attract more neighborhood serving businesses.

Yes it means we need to convince the City to push DOT to do what it is not naturally inclined to do. Respond to the needs and desires of the community. Believe it or not folks, DOT did not build that wall on Hillsborough because they thought it was a swell idea. It was through a lot of effort, research, lobbying, and studies generated through the hard work of Kacy Curry and the OSHNA highways and by-ways committee which she did a supurb job of chairing.

Folks in Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights should turn-out at council tomorrow to show this is something the City should push DOT to do. While it is a committee report, having concerned bodies in the audience gives support to those Councilmembers who have been listening and thinking about this issue. IT TAKES US ONE STEP CLOSER TO FIXING A 50 YEAR OLD MISTAKE.

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