Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

Progress Florida

  • 11 Aug 2020 11:29 AM
    Message # 9158152
    Stephen Sayles (Administrator)

    Everyone.

    This is an organization that is pushing for less roads and a more logical and less evasive form of transportation such as Passenger Rail.

    Here is the link should you wish to join.

    http://noroadstoruin.org/

    I myself am concerned with FDOT attempting to extend the 589 Toll Road thru Levy County which will disrupt and slice farm areas when this is not needed.

    US 19 / 98 is under used from just south of Inglus on up to Interstate 10. They can build overpasses and setup service roads thru towns such as Chiefland, Cross City and Perry. Combine that with I 75 and you have enough North South access that the Toll road IS NOT needed.

    Thanks,

    Stephen Sayles
    President

  • 20 Oct 2020 3:00 AM
    Reply # 9314280 on 9158152

    As a retired over-the-road truck driver, building toll roads is a BAD IDEA from the get-go. Many new highway projects, including the M-CORES project proposed by Governor De Santis, need to be scrutinized for their environmental, social, and economic impacts they will have on the communities, much like is done for transit projects, airports, and shipyards.

    I have seen the consequences of building toll roads and the problems they create. Many times, when these new toll roads do not generate the traffic and fall far short of the revenues forecasted, some communities will close off their roads to big trucks just for the sake of making more money on the toll road. The end result is that we, the consumers, all lose when trucks are forced onto the toll roads, which increases the costs of shipping the goods, needless to say, added wear and tear to the highways for road maintenance.


    Toll road supporters also falsely claim that trucks cause the congestion, when mostly, it is every car on the road with less than two occupants in them. Add in for hire services like Uber and Lyft, only make the traffic congestion worse when drivers deadhead between runs with no passengers in their vehicles. The toll rates for cars need to be adjusted to higher during peak traffic such as morning and evening commutes, or during long holiday weekends for leisure travel. Discounts for frequent users should be abolished, which run contrary to alleviating traffic congestion.

    Building more roads in rural areas where traffic is light are not needed. As the writer of the comment above made, he correctly points out that it would be more sensible to build overpasses and service drives along the existing roads than to build a new highway several miles from such communities. The new roads will displace out state's agriculture industry, and just like oil, we will soon become dependent on foreign nations for food. the new roads in rural areas will do nothing for traffic relief in urban areas.

    Another excuse for building these new roads are for hurricane evacuations. Reverting the main highways to one-way use on both sides of the interstate is a common sense idea, negating the need to build more new roads. Why would those who are evacuating or anyone, for that matter, need to have use of multiple lanes going towards the evacuation area? Except for emergency service vehicles, like law enforcement and utility repair services in a single lane, contraflow is very effective. Another alternative evacuation that ought to be considered should be vertical evacuations into high-rise structures such as time share condos and tourist hotels.

    Toll roads also contribute to the state budget debts when revenue expectations are not met. if that is the case, the toll rates need to be raised, maintenance deferred, and closure of the road during off-peak hours for routine repairs, to keep costs down and pay off the debt. Otherwise, in the localities where the toll road was built, especially in the communities that wanted them in the first place, raise their local gasoline taxes to pay for the costs of building the road and let that tax sunset when the last of the debt is paid off, including the interest. 

    There are some highways around the state that have been built or redesigned for a rail line in the median. We need to remind those in office that the widening of such roads was for that purpose, not toll lanes! The right-of-way was widened in the middle of I-4 between Disney World and Tampa for that purpose, as directed by former governor Jeb Bush. Later on, governor Rick Scott unilaterally terminated the I-4 corridor rail project and then have that same right-of-way built into toll lanes instead, and even lied about saying the center median area would not fit the rail line.

  • 01 Sep 2021 5:28 AM
    Reply # 10974000 on 9158152

    I was taking a look at the state road map and noticed a new bypass road built around Starke, on its west side, as an alternate route for US-301. That is not as destructive as buidling a new road all the way from Brooksville/Inverness to Jacksonville, not to mention the astronomical costs and toll road revenues sent off to foreign investors.

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