WUFT News

Transportation summit addresses Gainesville’s road issues

By and on April 11th, 2013

A Wednesday community transportation summit, held by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, served as a chance for the public to express opinions about transportation.

Multiple groups and organizations like the Gainesville Cycling Club and the League of Women Voters sent representatives to speak on their behalf.

The five-hour information session at the Gainesville/Alachua County Senior Recreation Center began with an overview of Alachua County transportation. County officials then opened up to comments by predetermined representatives.

Different public organizations, including the Builders Association and also Alachua County residents, spoke on what is needed as far as road repairs, transit systems, bike/pedestrian paths and the funding needed to serve these plans.

Alachua County Commissioner Robert Hutchinson described the public turnout to the summit as “phenomenal,” saying more chairs were needed soon after doors opened. He said this reflected how important transportation funding is to the community.

Hutchinson explained the necessities he felt the county needed to address.

“We need a much better transit system,” Hutchinson said. “Particularly one that serves the outlying areas, that serves the East side and that connects to all the new developments that the county has already approved.”

Gainesville City Commissioner Lauren Poe agreed with Hutchinson, and said it was good to hear from individual citizens and community groups. Poe said he liked hearing what changes need to be made in order to get a solution passed in 2014.

“I think there is universal agreement that the county has a serious road repair deficit,” Poe said. “But the city is very supportive of efforts that would help them gain the funds to close that gap.”

Poe said unlike the county, the city doesn’t have a huge road problem, but it does have a problem moving people around.

During the summit, county officials gave an overview of how a transportation tax would help the community. The primary focus was on improving roads before they become too damaged, improving conditions with the bus transit system and ideas to create a bus rapid transit system or “BRT.” This would link key regional areas such as the Oaks Mall and UF&Shands.

Gainesville City Commissioner Todd Chase said public input is most important because the county is ultimately asking for residents to impose a tax on themselves. Chase said he wants to balance funding to make it serve the people’s best interest.

“I’m not as concerned about expanding bike lanes as much as I am about making them safer,” Chase said. “We’ve got a lot of disjointed bike routes around town, so we need to start focusing on making a couple key routes contiguous and safer.”

Alachua County hopes to put the transportation tax up for a vote in 2014. The tax will be a maximum of 1 cent.

Gainesville City Commissioner Yvonne Hinson-Rawls said she identifies with the public. She said she understands some people don’t want a surtax but what the summit shows is that a tax is necessary.

A follow-up meeting will be held on June 4.

Rebekah Geier wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Rodrigo Guerrero, 21, watches his older brother, Alfonso Guerrero, 30, brewing coffee using a "pour over" technique. Know Where Coffee specializes in providing artisan coffees that are made to order. Bradley Williams / WUFT

Third-Wave Coffee Culture Popularity Rises In Gainesville

Know Where Coffee opened its doors this month. The new establishment proves the third-wave coffee culture is rising in popularity, especially across local coffee shops in Gainesville.


Luke Watkins, the 28-year-old partner of Black Hog Farms, is working toward creating a weekly farmers market along the St. Johns River in Palatka. The Saturday market will feature local farmers, musicians, artists and food trucks.

Local Businessperson Plans Farmers Market For Palatka

While Palatka’s government hopes to attract visitors to their area with the riverfront development project, a local business owner has his own idea for bringing in more people.


Robert Yard performs a song for a toddler using a Lakota love flute at the Cedar Key Fine Arts Festival in Cedar Key, Florida. Yard held impromptu music lessons throughout the day for patrons that were curious about playing an instrument. (Photo by Sydnei Cartwright)

Patrons and Artists Pack Cedar Key for 51st Annual Fine Arts Festival

Cedar Key held its 51st annual Cedar Key Fine Arts Festival this past Saturday and Sunday, and experienced a large turnout from supporting counties and out-of-state visitors. The Festival showcased a number of different arts including jewelry, photography, wood making, and mixed media.


A group of 'dirty kids' fly a sign on the corner of SE 1st St and SE 2nd Pl while one patches up a jacket and another plays guitar on Jan. 23, 2015 in Gainesville​. Photo by Andrea Sarcos/WUFT News

‘Home-Free’ Squatters Find Community In Gainesville

An abandoned house in Gainesville became a home for a group of individuals that call themselves “dirty kids.” The dirty kids feel that they are different from homeless people.


IMG_8377

Chicken House Fire Kills 24,000 Chicks

Chickens die in a chicken house fire at Saavedra Farms on Wednesday night.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments