Archive for Transportation

Rays on rail?

Posted in Ballpark, Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , , on January 23, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Training wheels for Tampa Choo-ChooDid Mike Sasso (Tampa Tribune Jan. 23, 2012) ask San Diego Metropolitan Transit what it did to their budget when the Padres moved from the mixed-use QUALCOMM stadium they shared with the Chargers, to a new ballpark in downtown San Diego?

And…the Chargers are still talking about also moving out; leaving that stadium mostly unused, but with a terrific, light-rail station.

Maybe the seven West Central Florida counties that make up the focus of TBARTA’s Master Plan should get together with The Rays to determine the most economically advantageous location FOR EVERYONE for a new ballpark?

U.S. 41, 19 and 301 are looking pretty good, and there is lots of cheap land available. People commute on I-75, 275 and 589, but they don’t live, shop, work or go to school there.

Forget I-4, (not a true “interstate” anyway) which is only good for trips to visit The Mouse.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


Good idea, but for….

Posted in Transportation with tags , , , , , on January 17, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Before the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority gets too giddy and all self-congratulatory about spending $4 million of our tax dollars to “discover” the freight rail corridor that runs between downtown Clearwater and Tropicana Field; did anyone spend $1.98 to get CSX on the phone and ask if they would be interested in even talking about any light-rail use of their right-of-way?

The County might have better luck getting Fred Marquis to support putting tracks back on his Pinellas Trail.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Feds tell Mayor Bob to take a hike; without a Riverwalk

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , , on December 20, 2011 by verbumsapienti2

What does it look like when the Federal Government “reins-in’ uncontrolled spending?

It looks like Mayor Bob walking home hat-in-hand without ten million dollars of federal transportation money to build a section of Riverwalk in downtown Tampa.

Plan “B”? Use $810,000 in gas tax proceeds.

To my understanding, there are three reasons to have a gas tax:
1. To encourage motorists to drive less by making gas more expensive.
2. To build and maintain roadways for cars.
3. To fund alternative transportation modes to help reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

So the question becomes, how many people are going to use the Riverwalk as an alternative to driving?

If Riverwalk is not about transportation, it should instead be funded by either a tourist tax or a tax on the increased values of surrounding properties.

In other words, “Them who gets, pays”.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

HART to sell out

Posted in Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , on September 22, 2011 by verbumsapienti2

Full advertising warps for Tampa’s iconic yellow Historic Street cars?

Just what we need, 1-800 Ask Gary streetcars on the covers of Tampa’s tourist guides.

Once you set a price on selling your body, you are a whore, regardless of how much you charge.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Zombie light-rail: the Choo-Choo of the living dead

Posted in Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , , , , on July 15, 2011 by

MPO director Ramond Chiaramonte seems to be more concerned with fixing the broken electioneering campaign that led to last year’s rail tax thumbs-down.

Instead he should be concentrating on where the existing public transportation needs are.

For example, in much of south Hillsborough it can take nearly four hours on weekdays to travel by bus to the VA Hospital in Tampa…ONE way! Forget weekends, when there is no public transportation out of the area.

HART’s Google Transit Maps trip planner tells me that to get to the VA on Saturday or Sunday, I need to start the trip on Friday.

If we are trying to do light-rail as a stimulus to economic development, has anyone asked if there might be a more cost-effective alternative to accomplish that objective, like cleaning up downtown Tampa?

My advice to Mr. Chiaramonte: fix the transit needs, not the transit voters.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Tampa traffic congestion: a shot in the foot

Posted in Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by verbumsapienti2

Report: Tampa-St. Pete among worst in traffic delays ?

Interestingly enough the 2010 Urban Mobility Report by the Texas Transportation Institute puts Tampa-St. Pete congestion at #25 in yearly delay by auto, while the worst 15 cities all have light-rail systems and still ranked Tampa-St. Pete slightly better than average for the 439 urban areas studied and way down at #89 on Congestion Trends – Wasted Time 1982 to 2009.

The 2011 report puts Tampa at #28.

traffic TampaI agree with HART chief executive David Armijo that investment in public transportation is necessary to reduce area traffic congestion. I question however if the same concern is held by the keepers of the purse strings on the half-cent sales tax increase (CIT) we have been paying into since 1997.

(Oh, but we did get a nice new home for the Bucs out of it though.)

As nearly as I can determine, not one single dollar has come out of the CIT to actually put even one new bus on the road; yet 100 new buses received from grants sit idle in HART parking lots.

How much are we STILL spending on resuscitating the failed Tampa Choo-Choo initiative?

$40 MILLION CIT money is earmarked for yet more studies and future transit planning, but none for today’s transit needs.

We can’t wait for three and five-year plans to tell us what we should be doing today.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Rabbit out of a hat

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2010 by verbumsapienti2

Rabbit out of a hatThere are essentially two kinds of magic:

1. You really pull a rabbit out of an empty hat.

2. You appear to pull a rabbit out of an empty hat.

One kind of magic doesn’t exist and the other is simply an illusion.

What kind of magic does Hillsborough County Chairman Al Higgenbotham plan to use to  pull out of the “no new taxes” hat, both a Choo-Choo for Tampa AND a new ballpark?

The suspense is building.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen