TBARTA open house comes to you
I attended the TBARTA Open House on Monday, and today I’m bringing it to you, just in case you didn’t slog through rush-hour traffic to voice your concerns about transportation around here. (Sticks commenter Scott Gunsaullus spent 2 hours on public transportation to get to the meeting!) But you get to skip that transportation hassle, and you don’t have to wade into the usual gaggle of developers, politicians and activists milling about this kind of thing. You can participate in the Open House virtually, right here.
First, check out the maps that were posted around the room, with “general connections” identified. Then fill out the same questionnaire that was handed out, just as if you were there.
Uh-oh. What’s that green swath on the map of South Hillsborough Options? Is that the Green Swath of Death rearing its ugly head again? So soon after it was scraped off our county planning maps by massive citizen opposition? (See my article, “roads to sprawlville” for background on this beltway/bypass.)
I asked a couple of the TBARTA folks about this, but they were kind of vague. “It’s just a possible corridor,” they told me. “We’re asking for input on all the possibilities. Everything is on the table at this point.”
Hmmm. It looks kinda like a rail corridor, but then it hooks up with a new road corridor. Could this be a resurrection of the Brandon Bypass?
I mentioned that Green Swath on my questionnaire. I told ’em that new roads in rural areas attract expensive suburban sprawl, waste farmland under new development, and pour more commuter traffic on all our roads; and, I told ’em, we need to be concentrating our growth and infrastructure along urban transit corridors in order to make mass transit feasible. And I told ’em I don’t like roads carving up my nature preserves.
Certain people — the people who make money this way — are still pushing for new roads to open up cheap farmland for more sprawling subdivisions full of commuters. If you have an opinion on transportation, you might want to voice it soon, because
TBARTA is charged with developing a Regional Transportation Master Plan by July 1, 2009.
TBARTA is also charged with engaging the public in developing this plan, so let them know what you think about rail, buses, roads, alternative transportation — anything that matters to you in your regional transportation plan.