Greenlight TV Ad & An Update
The Hillsborough County Commission just moved one step closer to creating real transportation options for everyone in Hillsborough County. On Tuesday, the County Commission voted unanimously to begin preparations for a 2016 transportation referendum by getting input from residents and bringing in professional planners to make sure the process is done right.
Hillsborough County has now released a list of projects that could be funded by a transportation referendum and it includes robust transportation options, including rail and bus rapid transit service.
Commissioner Murman made the motion to bring the project list to the public for input and it was unanimously approved. Soon after, Commissioner Hagan made a motion to hire transportation experts to ensure the process is clear and open. That motion was also approved. Hillsborough County is moving forward.
The list of possible projects includes many ideas that Connect Tampa Bay members have championed and that were included in our Go Hillsborough plan, including: a fix-it first approach to roads, hundreds of new buses, high-quality Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail, hundreds of millions to make our streets safer, miles of new bike paths, and new options for every part of the county.
But, the list of projects currently on the table is still much larger than what will be in a final plan. The many good projects are still competing with the County’s old and tired list of road widenings. It’s up to you to make sure that final project list reflects what you want to see in your neighborhood.
Starting in September, Hillsborough County will be holding meetings to get public input and we will be letting you know when and where to go. Your voice is going to be critical.
The County has already taken some of the most wasteful projects off the list. For example, a proposal to build a new elevated highway through eastern Hillsborough has been rejected. Its a project that people in the impacted communities don’t want and that would have been far too costly to build. But, there are still expensive and unnecessary road projects -- projects that deserve the same scrutiny that will be given to any transit proposal.
The days of blindly spending money on roads must end. Its time to embrace a balanced approach that treats all ideas equally and gives everyone in Tampa Bay options.
The bottom line is that you are going to need to stand up and be heard. You helped get this process started and you are key to keeping it on track.
You can start right now by thanking the Commissioners for moving forward by sending them a thank you email.
What is most exciting for me is that Hillsborough is moving forward together with the entire region. Greenlight Pinellas is on a roll and the results of Pinellas’s referendum will be a key factor in deciding what is in the Hillsborough plan.
If you haven’t gotten involved with the Greenlight Pinellas project, now is the time to do it. There are less than 90 days until election day, and it is time for everyone to help.
Take a moment and check out the Yes for Greenlight campaign, sign up and attend one of the events.
Connect Tampa Bay
PS: If your want to know more about the Hillsborough County project list, you can see all the projects and concepts with the videos on the Hillsborough County website.