Hillsborough County is expecting more than 700,000 new residents by 2045, increasing the demands on a transportation system that is already very challenged in many ways.
In 2014, the Hillsborough MPO adopted a long-range transportation plan that proposed new funding for transportation, equivalent to a sales tax of up to one-cent on the dollar. A sales tax would require a vote by all county residents. If it were approved, the long-range plan proposes the funding would address many basic needs:
- Repaving roadways on time, repairing or replacing old bridges & buses, maintaining stormwater drainage systems and reducing evacuation routes’ vulnerability to flooding
- Bringing down our high crash rates, with projects for intersection safety, sidewalk gaps, lighting, and complete streets
- Improving traffic flow with smart traffic signals, turn lanes at bottlenecks, and advanced traffic management systems to adjust flow in real time
- Bus service within walking distance of nearly two-thirds of people and jobs — including frequent service to nearly half
- A rapid transit system connecting our three largest job districts: Downtown, Westshore/Airport, and the USF area
- Targeted major road projects addressing the cities’ and county’s needs
Our community has continued to change since the plan was adopted in 2014. Growth has accelerated; interstate highway express toll lane projects have been put on hold to reevaluate their impacts; and a limited amount of future-year property tax funding has been set aside by Hillsborough County to work on transportation deficiencies, primarily in the unincorporated area.
Though many challenges remain, our community has tremendous potential. We need your opinions and ideas to help us focus on what is most important. The update of Hillsborough’s long range transportation plan will be underway throughout the remainder of 2018 and 2019, and the It’s Time Tampa Bay survey is the first step.