With a hat tip to Tampa Rail, according to today’s Tampa Tribune, there seems to be a more formal effort to include light rail in the long range plans for our community. It doesn’t yet mean the system will be built, but at least it is finally being factored into the process.
Planners in Tampa and Hillsborough County are starting what could be a years-long push to create a multimillion dollar rail system or some other mass transit network.
The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission has scheduled a meeting today to outline past rail proposals and to urge local governments to support the inclusion of a rail network into long-range comprehensive plans.
Comprehensive plans are blueprints for future growth and are mandated for local governments by the state. The last time Hillsborough County’s plan was updated was in the late 1990s. The county is in the process of updating that plan now for presentation to elected officials next spring.
That plan will not include a rail network but could reference some future system.
It’s about time!
The Commission will be meeting tonight to consider rail. In fact, that is how it is described on their agenda: “Consideration of Rail.” The meeting will be at 5:30pm in the Planning Commission Meeting Room on the 18th floor of County Center in downtown Tampa.
The Trib also points out that the Metropolitan Planning Organization will be having a series of meetings around the community, starting next week and running through mid-December, to invite the public to discuss transportation issues. It will be interesting to see how these meetings turn out.
Who knows… I might actually be able to ride a train in Tampa during my lifetime!!