- Special Sections
- Public Notices
To the editor:
I have been watching the I-75 Relief hearings on The Florida Channel.
The idea of creating a “transportation corridor” to relieve traffic congestion on I-75 primarily in that section of I-75 from the intersection with the Florida Turnpike on through Alachua County has been the focus with a further sub focus on a better route from Tampa to Jacksonville.
BUT what I hear is ideas for more lanes on I-75, toll lanes on I-75, truck only lanes on I-75, and using either or both improved U. S. Highways 301 and 41 somehow to be joined with a Sunshine Parkway extension from the Citrus County area.
If this is a “long term 50,000 foot” view of I-75 congestion coupled with words “transportation corridor” being the language used, why do I only hear plans for more pavement?
The main I-75 congestion occurs within Ocala’s and Gainesville’s area. These cities use I-75 as a local connector road. Why not task Alachua and Marion counties with the problem of coming up with approved plans to remove local traffic from I-75, and then fund these efforts at the state level? Local folks are closer to the problem, but they need financial assistance.
1st: After I-75 improvements are completed with an analysis of the results, then a freeway connection from Tampa (in the Tampa area not in this area) to U. S. 301 should be studied and possibly completed within 15 years; then make further recommendations regarding corridors if needed.
2nd: By this time a more accurate assessment can be made as to a need for any further connecting roads to Jacksonville (Probably U.S. 301 to I-10 will be sufficient until at least 40 years out).
3rd: If the Sunshine Parkway extension is an option, then build it around Crystal River to U. S. 19. This will avoid bridging the Withlacoochee river and bulldozing pristine land and aquifer recharge areas.
These suggestions avoid large outlays for right-of-way and also avoid many environmental issues.