Tampa’s Light Rail… or lack thereof

After reading today’s Tampa Tribune story, I knew I would need to write about this issue.

Among the many thoughts rambling through the transom of my mind is a disdain for our community’s leaders who lack the backbone to actually lead. No, I am not a raving lunatic who thinks all politicians are evil — I merely have no respect for people who fail to see the forest for the trees.

To be sure, Tampa Bay is a car crazy community. This is simply a result of our history. Tampa grew into a major city when cars where popular, and exploded in the ‘era of the suburbs.’ Strip malls and cul de sacs are as much a part of Tampa as cigars and strip clubs. Still, in the 16 years that I have called Tampa my home, the situation has worsened.

Our leaders do not seem to understand the cliche “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Former Commissioner Ed Turanchik tried to show them the way almost 10 years ago. The Committee of 99 tried to tell them it was important in, of course, 1999. Former County Administrator Dan Kleman tried to thell them. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce tried to tell them. The Florida Legislature even changed the law to allow Hillsborough County to use a voter-approved sales tax increase. All to no avail.

The only problem is that most voters will not respond until it becomes painful. By then it may be too late.

Click here to email your Hillsborough County Commissioners.
Click here to email your state representative.
Click here to email your state senator.

Better yet, get their mailing address and actually write them a letter. You would be surprised – in the era of email, few legislators received hand written letters any more. They will get more attention, and your views have a greater chance of being heard.

When you contact them, be sure to ask them to have the strength and vision to address our growing transportation problems. Tell them you will remember if the do – or if they don’t.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tampa’s Light Rail… or lack thereof

  1. Ben says:

    This is a very important issue. I have written about it a few times on my site and I am getting kinda frustrated that many people are smart enough to see that our growth placing too much pressure on already crowded roads. A trip to almost any other major city will reveal an efficient system of mass transit. I cite the Metro System in Washington, DC as evidence.

    If you get bored, feel free to read my POV on this issue at canofwormsblog.com here, here and Joe Redner and I talk about it here.

    Ps, you should allow people who don’t use blogger to comment, you can still keep anonymous comments off if you enable this.

  2. Jim Johnson says:

    Thanks, Ben. I saw it on your blog, and on Tampa Rail.

    As for the comments – I’m new to Blogger, and couldn’t figure how I can prevent anonymous comments without requiring registered users (the only options are Registered Users, Anyone, and Members of This Blog). Email me at jim@stateofsunshine.com if you have advice on that.

Comments are closed.