The Hillsborough County MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) Committee hears the petition of area residents and members of the Brandon Chamber in connection with the Lithia Pinecrest Rd. widening project, specifically involving Segment B, the section between Lumsden Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave.
Lithia Pinecrest Rd., between Lumsden Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave., also known as Segment B, will remain as a two-lane enhanced roadway, thanks to a unanimous decision by the Hillsborough County MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) board, earlier this month.
“We were hopeful that the board was going to come to a conclusion on this matter in favor of leaveing Segment B as is,” said community advocate George Niemann.
Ever since its first introduction, a number of residents and business owners who live and work along Segment B have been at odds with the county’s proposal and the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce’ desire to widen this portion to a four lane, enhanced roadway.
Niemann said that on Tuesday, May 29, a week prior to the final decision, the MPO policy committee met and discussed the Lithia Pinecrest Project with nine citizens that opposed the widening present all of who spoke during public comment.
But, with no supporters speaking, on behalf of the project, along with no one showing from the Brandon Chamber and, the policy committee once again unable to make an official recommendation to the full MPO board, they agreed to express their feelings at the next meeting asking the full board to approve a motion to keep the plan as currently is.
During the discussion Commissioners Mark Sharpe, Sandra Murman and Lesley “Les” Miller expressed their desire to end further discussion of widening Segment B and to go forward with the current plan of only enhancing Segment B, but not widening it to four lanes.
The chamber, reportedly, still wanted the four-lane expansion, but realized that there was significant opposition and that it would be unproductive to continue their efforts.
Coming to a final decision has not been easy for the MPO board either. In late April the board saw it necessary to reschedule a discussion about the project due to a failure of its own staff to provide a comprehen