Gandy Traffic's Future Is Grim
Published: Apr 8, 2006
- A committee studying traffic in the Gandy Boulevard area got a first look this week at what development could do to roads, and it wasn't pretty.

"That's a lot of cars," committee member Sue Lyon said.

South of Gandy, the main north-south roads are approaching capacity, with an average of about 84,200 daily total trips, according to consultant Tindale-Oliver and Associates.

Parts of the Gandy intersections at West Shore Boulevard and Manhattan Avenue are failing, and developments such as New Port Tampa Bay, the Westshore Yacht Club, Legacy Park and Casa Bella on Westshore could add 31,900 vehicle trips.

That would put the north-south roads - West Shore, Manhattan, Bayshore Boulevard, Dale Mabry Highway, and Himes and MacDill avenues - over capacity, with more than 300 acres still vacant south of Gandy, consultants said.

Demian Miller, of Tindale-Oliver, said he does not expect all that land to be developed, but projections show up to 42,000 more daily trips.

"I'm not surprised," said committee member Jill Buford, president of the Civic Association of Port Tampa. "That's why I'm here."

Buford and Lyon were among the six members at the committee's first meeting Tuesday, along with city Councilman John Dingfelder and neighborhood leaders Mike Hursey, Jerry Miller and Jerry Frankhouser. The 13-member group also includes developers and businesspeople.

The more than three-hour meeting began with residents and committee members expressing frustration with its format and length.

Kim Allen, a Sun Bay South resident, was concerned about how the study would differ from others conducted in the past 20 years.

"I guarantee you, this study is not going to sit on a shelf," city transportation manager Roy LaMotte said. "The city administration is very concerned about this area of town."

After the traffic-analysis presentation, the committee listed about a dozen issues that must be addressed. It also discussed potential solutions ranging from improving mass transit to extending the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway to MacDill Air Force Base.

"I don't think any one of these is the solution," Buford said. "It's going to be a combination of them all. This is just a big puzzle and we need to put all the pieces together."

The committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. April 27 at the Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, 3910 S. Manhattan Ave.

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