Transit survey offers Pasco residents a say

Judy Geiger would like to see Trilby Road widened, to improve its safety.

The Dade City resident explained the need: “We have a number of bicyclists. The roads are not wide enough to accommodate them and the cars. If you get behind a set of (bicyclists), you’re stuck. It’s not safe.”

At a July 23 workshop, Rob Cursey, left, of Tindale Oliver, and Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley discuss the potential projects that may arise in the Mobility 2045 Transportation Plan. Pasco residents are encouraged to give their input during an online survey. (Brian Fernandes)

She was among those attending a recent workshop held by the Pasco Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to gather community feedback and suggestions for its 2045 Transportation Plan.

The Pasco MPO is encouraging residents to partake in its current Mobility 2045 Transportation Survey to provide information it can consider in its future transportation planning. It held recent workshops in New Port Richey, Wesley Chapel and Dade City to promote the survey.

Geiger attended the workshop at the Historic Pasco County Courthouse in Dade City. She had not yet taken the survey, but said she planned to do so and to point out her safety concerns.

Nancy Hazelwood, also of Dade City, attended the workshop, too. She said she doesn’t like the idea of expanding Blanton Road in Dade City. She thinks that would lead to more traffic and commercial development.

“We’re a rural community and we hope to stay a rural community,” she explained. “Zoning and land use should stay the same.”

At the Dade City workshop, Wally Blain, a senior project manager at Tindale Oliver, was among those present to field questions.

Tindale Oliver works with the MPO on various projects.

“The purpose of this survey is [to] review these needs, identify what’s a priority, and as we build a cost-affordable plan, we have a priority order,” Blain explained.

Potential economic impacts and job growth also are key factors in determining what projects may be implemented, Blain noted.

While the survey addresses projects that the county has had on its agenda for some time, it also took into account public feedback from the 2018 ‘It’s Time Pasco’ survey as well.

With more than 140 projects pinpointed on a map of Pasco County, those taking the survey can click on any given project, examine the details, react to the plan and offer comments.

Participants also can recommend projects they think are important, which the county can consider.

“Most of it are those community-based needs,” Blain said of the feedback. “We need sidewalks and mini-bike lanes, or we need better maintenance of roads.”

Blain also noted: “One key intersection that is focused on in the comments, is the State Road 54 and U.S. 41 interchange that FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) currently has a project funded for. It’s good to know that those things that are getting the most comments are the things that are actually in the pipeline first, to get done.”

The workshop also offered boards of schematics with aerial views of the projects reflected on the survey.

The visual displays helped Blain to show what the county would like to see occur in its long-term plans.

Schematics show where additional lighting, pedestrian overpasses and roundabouts could be implemented county-wide.

Added lanes are also a focal point of major roadways such as U.S. 19; state roads 52, 54 and 56; and Interstate 75.

According to the MPO, more than 1,100 miles of additional roadway lanes are needed by 2045, along with six major intersections and interchanges.

A five-year capital budget plan is being analyzed to see what funds are available in the near future.

Meanwhile, long-term allocations look bleak.

Roadway costs for the 2045 plan are estimated to exceed $7 billion. Available revenue falls far short of that.

The survey is open to the public until August 15 and can be found at

The Mobility 2045 Transportation plan is expected to be adopted in December.

Published July 31, 2019

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