Delayed development makes Bengals' John Ross a healthy scratch
We will all be such burnt, fried and scorched toast.
Here's what we'll likely wind up with for $6 billion even more flickering rear brake lights spread out across eight lanes, and counting. Such a deal.
As any commuter in the greater Tampa Bay area knows all too well, our transit arteries are more clogged than Jabba the Hutt's. And to address this long standing problem, transit officials have leaped into action by simply building and expanding more and more by ways.
You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to figure out the future. Starting around 2019, road work will begin in earnest and it will last for the next 87 years (and that's only partly snarky). Detours will abound. Neighborhoods will be disrupted. There will be construction delays, cost overruns and hours upon hours of sitting at a standstill, while the cars in front of you slow down to admire the handiwork of a disabled motorist changing a tire. The things we do for excitement around here.
Massive transportation projects like the Great Tampa Road To Nirvana exercise are always hailed as the grand gift to the public to enhance everyone's quality of life. Phooey.
We've just gone through a sizable reordering of I 275 through downtown Tampa and everyone is jaguars color rush jersey still crammed together in one giant vehicular rush hour refugee camp.
But if you need a cautionary tale about the myopia of thinking you can simply go on an asphalt binge and expect everything to turn out splendidly, look no further than Los Angeles, which just dropped $1.6 billion on a road project with precious little evidence it accomplished much more than pouring $1.6 billion into the pockets of construction companies.
The six year I 405 highway project was supposed to widen lanes and improve entrance/exit ramps to ease the daily congestion for some 300,000 drivers. Originally the price tag for all the work was about $1 billion, but quickly ballooned to $1.6 billion. Well, it's only money.
Of course, boondoggles are always in the eye of the beholder. The Times piece did find a fan of the I 405 work, who noted since construction ended it now only takes 75 minutes to traverse his 15 mile commute. Now we're getting somewhere, albeit rather slowly.
If you consider Tampa's own experience, as well as Los Angeles, it would seem to be painfully obvious that simply adding more capacity to an interstate system does not necessarily relieve congestion. In a sense, it only encourages it, especially if planners don't include other components such as improved bus service and a light rail system.
And that, of course, only costs more money, an investment the transportation "experts" and powers that be here in the Tampa Bay area have been unable, or unwilling, to spend literally for generations.
Before you know it, 2019 will be here. Let the games and the traffic jams begin. Enjoy. You'll have plenty of time to sit and take in the view of all that progress unfolding before your very eyes one shovel load at a time.