Transportation plan moves forward in HIllsborough County - WFLA News Channel 8

Transportation plan moves forward in HIllsborough County

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Hillsborough County's transportation plan moved forward Wednesday when commissioners voted unanimously to have the county administrator schedule a transportation summit.

The meeting would involve Hillsborough County Commission members, and the mayors from Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City.  The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority will also participate in the summit.

The move is not without controversy.  At Wednesday's County Commission meeting people lined up to shoot down the plan.

Speaking during the public comment section, Ken Roberts criticized efforts to introduce light rail. Roberts says he represents a group called "Organized for Sound Transportation."

Roberts says light rail will not work in the Bay Area, "Our population is dispersed, so no matter where you put it, more people will be asked to fund it, than will use it."

Mark Calvert is another opponent of discussions to introduce light rail.  Calvert says, "All the indications for light rail is, it really doesn't pay for itself without further tax subsidies to attract development."

Opponents of light rail across the country say systems transport less than one percent of the traveling public and do little to alleviate congestions on local roads.

Calvert says, "Light rail is a highest subsidized form of transportation per passenger miles. Yes, roads are not cheap but the vast majority of the population uses those roads."

County Commissioner Mark Sharpe says it would be impossible to build enough roads to fix transportation issues in Hillsborough County.

Sharpe says, "If we were to try to raise the billions of dollars necessary to build those roads and get them to a passing grade, we couldn't come up with that much money, it would be very disruptive of all of our citizens and it wouldn't work."

Speaking before the commission, Sharpe cited several studies that put Tampa area roads among the worst in the nation.

Sharpe says, light rail may only be a part of the solution. "What we have to do is focus on roads, intersections, busses. We're talking about express lanes for busses and in some areas, possibly, dependent upon the studies themselves, fixed transit, which would include light rail."

At the County Commission meeting, several speakers told commissioners, they favor an open discussion on county transportation issues.

Representatives of the Young Republicans and Young Democrats issued a joint letter saying they favor the discussion.

Anibal David Cabrera with the Young Republicans says, "What I say is, be open to different options and if we as republicans are not part of the conversation, then we have no right complain when it is passed."

Other republicans have not been so kind to Mark Sharpe's participation in the discussion.

Sharpe says, " What we've done is light a fire and if you light the fire, you're going to take some heat."

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • TPD claims training stories fell short

    TPD claims training stories fell short

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:12:02 GMT
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
  • TPD responds to story controversy surrounding police shooting

    TPD responds to story controversy surrounding police shooting

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:48:17 GMT
    Jason TurkJason Turk
    An 8 On Your Side investigation into police shooting and the lack of Crisis Intervention Team training at the Tampa police department is not sitting well with T.P.D.Police spokesperson Laura McElroy sent an email to News Channel 8 management with the subject line labeled, "The Rest of the Story
    An 8 On Your Side investigation into police shooting and the lack of Crisis Intervention Team training at the Tampa police department is not sitting well with T.P.D.Police spokesperson Laura McElroy sent an email to News Channel 8 management with the subject line labeled, "The Rest of the Story
  • Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:26 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:26:13 GMT
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Dover families concerned about a chemical they say causes illness

    Dover families concerned about a chemical they say causes illness

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-08-22 03:18:52 GMT
    Concerned families met with representatives from Arkema who sell the chemical Palacin that Zentkovich is concerned about Concerned families met with representatives from Arkema who sell the chemical Palacin that Zentkovich is concerned about
    After two years of illness, Mary Zentkovich wants answers about what is making her family sick.“ Zentkovich thinks the fumigant Paladin being used in nearby strawberry fields is the reason for her family's and other neighbor's illnesses.
    After two years of illness, Mary Zentkovich wants answers about what is making her family sick.“ Zentkovich thinks the fumigant Paladin being used in nearby strawberry fields is the reason for her family's and other neighbor's illnesses.
  • Teen's death could cause change to state fair

    Teen's death could cause change to state fair

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:49 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:49:31 GMT
    Andrew JosephAndrew Joseph
    The parents of Andrew Joseph spoke at the monthly Hillsborough NAACP meeting Thursday night.
    The parents of Andrew Joseph spoke at the monthly Hillsborough NAACP meeting Thursday night.

  • Funeral home removal service employee charged with stealing from dead woman

    Funeral home removal service employee charged with stealing from dead woman

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:02 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:02:13 GMT
    Pinellas County Sheriff Deputies arrested a funeral home removal service employee after they claim he stole jewelry from deceased woman while he was in her home to remove her body.
    Pinellas County Sheriff Deputies arrested a funeral home removal service employee after they claim he stole jewelry from deceased woman while he was in her home to remove her body.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Haircuts for the Homeless

    Haircuts for the Homeless

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:38:55 GMT
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
  • 59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:30:28 GMT
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
  • VIDEO: Grouper snatches shark in one bite

    VIDEO: Grouper snatches shark in one bite

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:44:27 GMT
    Clip of video from YouTubeClip of video from YouTube
    One bite: that's all it apparently took for a grouper to eat a 4-foot shark in a video posted to YouTube, according to user Gimbb14.
    One bite: that's all it apparently took for a grouper to eat a 4-foot shark in a video posted to YouTube, according to user Gimbb14.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.