Tampa Bay area express lanes could save time – at a cost

Traffic

Heavy traffic is a waste of time and gas, not to mention the lost productivity and toll on your brain. But now, you might be able to use your Sunpass to pay for a special lane, both east and west.

“If it will save me 20-30 minutes on the way home then it will be worth it to me,” commuter Cyril Spiro said.

Spiro joined others, and some nearby homeowners, for a public hearing on the Express Lanes project. Some of the commuters can’t wait to lessen their commutes, while others aren’t too sure. “To me, I don’t see the reason for it,” homeowner Merle Guy said.

Most agree something has to be done to reduce the nagging congestion that has many pulling their hair out. “There’s a lot of congestion on I-4, a lot of traffic jams and lot of accidents because of that congestion,” June Guy said.

Special express toll lanes are already in place along I-95 in Miami. Drivers pay different rates based on traffic demand.

Some critics call them highways for the rich. “That’s really not the case. What’s happening, what we’ve seen is not only in Florida and Miami and all over the country, is not only helping the people that hop on the express lanes, but it’s also helping the general use lanes,” said Kris Carson with the Florida Department of Transportation.

Monday night’s meeting dealt with a 22-mile stretch east of 50th Street and the Polk Parkway. There are plans to install express lane on I-275 as part of a total rebuild of “Malfunction Junction.”

 

 

 

 

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