Group Seeks Solutions To Gandy Traffic

By MICHAEL H. SAMUELS msamuels@tampatrib.com

Published: Apr 1, 2006

SUN BAY SOUTH - A community advisory committee for a Gandy Boulevard traffic study will have its first meeting Tuesday.

The group, made up of civic leaders, business people, developers and city staff, will discuss Gandy traffic and its effect on the Interbay peninsula, city transportation manager Roy LaMotte said.

The first of three public meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, 3910 S. Manhattan Ave.

Last year, the city council asked for the study before approving more development south of Gandy.

"This is the study everyone's looking to to get answers to questions about the peninsula," LaMotte said. "We need a document, a master plan to follow."

Tampa consulting company Tindale-Oliver and Associates, which is being paid $148,000 to conduct the study, has interviewed committee members by telephone. LaMotte said the committee will make recommendations to the consultants.

"South of Gandy right now, we have the opportunity to put into place some infrastructure or solutions for future problems," said committee member Jill Buford, president of the Civic Association of Port Tampa. "We don't need to wait until roads fail or new residents have arrived. We need to have some foresight and vision to see if we can't come up with some solutions long-term."

Along West Shore Boulevard south of Gandy, numerous large projects are under construction. Two of them, New Port Tampa Bay and the Westshore Yacht Club, will add more than 2,000 residences.

"Development is going to go full-speed ahead," LaMotte said. "That's why we're talking to the development community as well. We want to make them aware of the problems in the neighborhoods. We're going to find this balance."

Al Steenson, of the Gandy Civic Association, said city officials must listen to residents. He said he's most concerned about Manhattan Avenue south of Gandy to Interbay Boulevard and widening West Shore.
"We do have some obvious issues with transportation and infrastructure," Steenson said.

LaMotte said committee members were chosen because of their problem-solving ability.

"It is important to control input," he said. "We do not want to be repetitive. These people have pointed issues and ask pointed questions about what their concerns are and where we need to go."

Committee meetings also are scheduled for April 27 and May 16. The study is expected to be presented to the council May 18.

IF YOU GO
WHAT: A community advisory committee will hold three public meetings to discuss Gandy Boulevard traffic.
WHERE: Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, 3910 S. Manhattan Ave.
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 27 and May 16
INFORMATION: (813) 274-8333
http://southtampa.tbo.com/southtampa/MGBGUU81HLE.html