By Kathy L. Collins
Hundreds of area residents have participated in the discussion of the Brandon Corridors and Mixed-Use Centers Pilot Project. Residents have voiced their opinions through emails and attending community engagement meetings. At the last meeting held on Monday, October 30 at The Regent in Riverview, approximately 140 residents appeared.
Issues being studied included land use, transit and roads (including reversible lanes on Bloomingdale Ave. which eliminates left turns), widening Lumsden Rd. and intersection improvements. The study showed that while reversible lanes on Bloomingdale could increase capacity in the east/west corridors, it would put undue stress on the north/south corridors. Road widening is an option, but this could prove to be too costly. Finally, improving intersections and redevelopment might be the best options.
During the presentation, it was noted that 60 percent of residents travel through the Brandon area to get to the Westshore area or to the USF area, and 16 percent of retail occurs in the Brandon area.
Many area residents voiced opinions similar to that of George May who was representing the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association. May said, “Take the reversible lanes issue off the table and do not waste any more time or money on this issue.”
Others, such as Dale Meyer who has lived in Brandon since 1969, admonished the panel for not having done proper planning before the area’s population exploded.
Additionally, residents such as Tanya Doran, Executive Director of the Riverview Chamber of Commerce said, “Be mindful of the business community and the impact decisions will have on them and the community overall.”
Melissa Zornitta, Executive Director of the Planning Commission said, “We were pleased with the fantastic turnout for the October 30 meeting. The feedback received throughout the process at meetings and via email has helped us in developing recommendations and finalizing the study. To that end, reversible lanes on Bloomingdale will not be recommended as a next step. The study will be accepted by the Planning Commission as complete at their December 11 meeting. There will be additional planning, design, and engineering studies by the County, HART or FDOT to implement the transportation improvements that are recommended, like intersection improvements along Bloomingdale, and the land use policy recommendations to encourage redevelopment in areas along SR 60.”
Residents are urged to continue to voice their opinion on the issues raised by the Brandon Corridors and Mixed-Use Centers Pilot Project (http://planhillsborough.org/Brandon-corridor-mixed-use-centers).