Beth Alden, assistant director of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization, gave a presentation on potential transportation improvements at the Plant City Commission meeting Monday, Oct. 27.
Alden updated the commissioners on the county’s Plan 2040, focusing on transportation improvements. She discussed the results of a public poll that surveyed 2,442 citizens, 3% of whom were Plant City residents.
Responders’ top priority for their residential areas was to increase walkability. When asked generally whether they would support a tax increase to improve Tampa Bay’s transportation system, 50% of responders said they would.
Responders also said reducing crashes was important to them. Alden said Tampa Bay has more fatal crashes per capita than most other similar metropolitan areas. With a one-cent sales tax increase, roads, streetlights, sidewalks and medians could be reconstructed for increased safety. State Road 39 is on the list of priority streets for this type of potential construction.
Decreasing congestion was also of high importance for poll responders. By 2040, the MPO estimates that Plant City will offer 17,000 to 32,000 jobs that are accessible via Sam Allen Road and U.S. 92, so these corridors will be a focus for decreasing congestion.
Federal law has set a December 2014 deadline for a decision on whether to carry out Plan 2040. The next step is a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12, at the Board of County Commission Chambers in Tampa.
IN OTHER NEWS
• The search for a new library director is ongoing. The position was open for application Oct. 21 and will close Nov. 28.
• The commission approved a resolution to fund the Boys and Girls Club with $20,000 for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Funding will be provided from the Community Development Block Grant Program.
• City Manager Mike Herr signed a contract with CivicPlus for a redesign of the city’s website. The project will cost $18,500. The new website will update the website’s appearance and increase its user-friendliness.
Contact Catherine Sinclair at [email protected].