If some Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights residents had their druthers, the state would simply demolish Interstate 275, which now severs their neighborhoods.
Loud, sustained applause and shouts of "Yeah," from nearly 100 people greeted just such a proposal Tuesday.
"Tear it down!" said Joshua Frank, an urban planner who wrote his Master's degree thesis on an alternative to the controversial highway expansion program called TBX (short for Tampa Bay Expressway).
His presentation, "Bifurcation to Boulevard", showed how transforming the Interstate into a wide, landscaped boulevard, featuring bike and pedestrian paths and even light commuter rail, would transform the area north of Tampa's downtown core.Similarly, WTSP reported on it:
The highway has wreaked havoc on neighborhoods, Frank said. He pointed to air pollution, noise levels and lower property values, the Times reports. He called for “reintegrating” six neighborhoods split by 275. That would improve residents’ quality of life and promote economic activity, he argued.
...Likewise, tearing down the interstate was highlighted in the May 24 Tampa Bay Next working group [PDF], where it was met with loud applause:
A neighborhood group held a meeting Tuesday and asked FDOT to consider Frank’s proposal, the Times reports. "They had at least 10 people here," said Kimberly Overman, president of the Heights Urban Core Chamber. "They are very interested. What boulevards do is open up opportunities."
|Screen capture from TB Next Community Working Group, May 24, page 18|
|Hillsborough County Traffic Counts Map|
|I-275: FLORIBRASKA AVE - to - M L KING BLVD||143,500|
|I-275: ASHLEY ST - to - JEFFERSON ST NB||189,500|
|I-275: ARMENIA AVE - to - ASHLEY ST||203,000|
|FDOT Forecasted I-275 Traffic Increases|
DALE MABRY HWY: (LINEBAUGH AVE -to-EHRLICH RD)
HILLSBOROUGH AVE: (VETERAN'S EXPWY -to-DALE MABRY
SR 60 / BRANDON BLVD: (FALKENBURG RD -to-PAULS DR)
FLETCHER AVE: (NEBRASKA AVE -to-30TH ST)
WATERS AVE: (VETERANS EXPY -to-DALE MABRY HWY)