Hillsborough leaders seeking public input on transportation plan

Hillsborough County

Local leaders in Hillsborough County want to hear exactly how you feel about traffic and are looking for input on their Transportation Improvement Program to fund projects over the next five years. 

Hillsborough MPO- Metropolitan Planning for Transportation will hold a public hearing Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the County Center building in downtown Tampa. There’ll be time allotted for public comments. 

“Why do we keep adding lanes just to see them clog again, just to end up where we started? That’s the definition of insanity,” said Michelle Cookson, secretary of Sunshine Citizens. 

Cookson and others with a group called Sunshine Citizens plan to show up at the public hearing to push for county leaders to make public transit options more of a priority. 

Cookson said the expansion of interstates is making a negative impact on communities. 
Local leaders who have the power to help tell News Channel 8 they understand the need for more options. 

“There are definitely parts of our community where it’s not realistic to widen the roads any further because there will be so much impact on the neighborhoods, on the businesses,” said Beth Alden, Executive Director of Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning for Transportation. 

But there are areas where county officials will look at enhancing what’s already in place. 

The MPO board will consider making additions to the priority list at the public hearing.

Alden said they’ll look at adding one new lane to I-275 N of downtown Tampa in each direction using the right of way that’s already there. 

The board will also look at adding a lane to the I-275 ramp getting onto I-4, which goes east to Orlando.

That area is notorious for backups and crashes. 

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