Florida: Community activists want transit options, not just highways, under Tampa Bay Next

The Tampa Bay region will undergo a transportation overhaul during the next several years under what’s being called Tampa Bay Next; the Florida Department of Transportation rolled it out after its predecessor, TBX, faced some local backlash.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, “The Regional Tampa Bay Next is a program to modernize Tampa Bay’s transportation infrastructure and prepare for the future.” It includes updating interstate highways, transit, facilities for bicycles and pedestrians, “complete streets,” and freight mobility.

In 2016-2017, Tampa Bay Next emerged as a replacement for – and some say a re-brand of – what used to be called TBX.

TBX included a plan to put express toll lanes on more miles of interstate highway in the Tampa Bay area. That’s still a part of Tampa Bay Next. But, according to the Tampa Bay Next  website, “FDOT … announced that it is no longer considering adding express lanes to I-275 north of the downtown (I-4) interchange.”

Some properties near the interstates will be torn down in order to expand the highways.