Tom Jackson’s recent article on the proposed elevated toll road in Pasco County should have read “Toll road sneaks ahead; mostly bad” instead of “Toll road inches ahead; it’s all good.”
There are a number of reasons why this overreaction to Pasco County traffic is bad, and few were mentioned:
This elevated superhighway will run through the most densely populated part of Pasco having the most established and successful communities. Scores of communities, with tens of thousands of residents, will be within hundreds of yards of something similar to the Selmon Expressway.
It will lead to loss of revenue for the many existing businesses along State Road 54/56.
Real estate values will drop significantly when people will not want to hear constant highway traffic from an elevated highway outside their windows.
This is a tax hidden as a toll that will disproportionately affect the middle- and lower- income people of Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
Residents of southern Pasco will endure endless inconveniences during and after construction of this highway. That five-minute trip to Publix? Better allow 30 minutes now.
Also, expect Pasco residents to flee to other counties in Florida for a better quality of life.
The consulting firm hired by Pasco County, the Urban Land Institute, recommended not proceeding with this elevated highway along S.R. 54/56.
This massive project of $2 billion and its tremendous implications have been poorly communicated to the residents it will impact the most.
I am helping lead an opposition group that is building a coalition among all the communities along S.R. 54/56 to ensure that our voices and concerns are recognized. A more reasonable approach on a much smaller scale needs to be taken to address these relatively minor traffic concerns.