It’s a long way from reality, but Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore wants to begin taking steps toward the possibility of an overpass at State Road 56 and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
The commission chairman broached the idea during the commission’s Aug. 19 meeting.
“If you know the intersection of 581, that’s Bruce B. Downs, and (State Road) 56 — that’s one of the largest intersections in the nation. It’s huge,” Moore said.
“For bikers and walkers, that is impossible to cross,” he noted.
“It’d be great for our citizens to have access, especially bike access, all across there,” Moore said. “All four corners have numerous things to benefit the citizens.”
In addition to The Shops at Wiregrass, there also are a number of shops and restaurants along Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, the county leader said.
There’s also a multi-use path, and State Road 56 has been extended over to U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills.
“I would love to see if we can look at possibly getting — I’m going to call it a flyover — for bikes and walkers. I mean, golf carts would be cool, too, but if that can’t happen, at least for bikes and walkers,” Moore said.
Creating this overpass would help the county move closer to its concept of creating walkable communities, Moore added.
“We have a number of neighborhoods, very close to that intersection,” he said, mentioning Seven Oaks and Northwood, as well as numerous townhouse and apartment communities.
“It’s just hard for them to get over,” Moore said. “If you want to make this bike-able, walkable — you need to have access.
“We have the new brewery coming, that’s going to be one of the largest in West Florida,” he added.
Moore said he raised the issue because he wanted to get a conversation going about the potential improvement.
Fellow Commissioner Kathryn Starkey told Moore: “I think that would be great to have something like that over there, it’s just a process.”
To move forward with the idea, she advised him to get in touch with Tina Russo, who heads up the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
Starkey also added that getting an improvement like that built would need to go through the Metropolitan Planning Organization process.
Published August 26, 2020
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