TRAFFIC INBOX: Reversible lane proposal in Brandon

By Chuck Henson, Real Time Traffic Expert
Last Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017, 10:45 AM EDT

There is frustration in a Hillsborough County community as residents are concerned about proposed changes to the way roads move traffic through town.

It involves traffic patterns along Bloomingdale Avenue among other roads.

"No one knew about this project that has been going on for the last 18 months," said Dr. Lisa Wildcatt of Pediatric Associates of Riverview. Wildcatt said it was "happenstance" that she found out about it.

Bay News 9 Real Time Traffic Expert Chuck Henson talked with Melissa Zornitta with the planning commission. She discussed what's called the Brandon Corridor Study.

"The goal is to better coordinate our land use planning and what kind of development is going to happen along those corridors in the future with what kind of transportation improvements are needed," Zornitta said.

Specifically, it's about traffic on Bloomingdale Avenue, Lumsden Avenue and Brandon Boulevard.

What has been proposed for Bloomingdale is a reversible lane. It will allow a greater flow of traffic in and out of the community during peak commute times.

Right now the reversible lane is only an idea.

"So, it's very early in the process, testing would this event work in this area," Zornitta said. "So there is no construction or funding to make that project happen at this point."

One of the biggest concerns if the project goes forward is the loss of the existing turn lane. The plan would convert it to a reversible travel lane, and would eliminate a lot of left turns.

"But the consultant actually is not recommending that we move forward with the reversible lane because of the safety concerns, the fact that we don't have that road network that makes it easy to get around on side streets to get where you need to go," Zornitta said. "Plus we have a lot of community uses that happen to be located on either the north or south side of the road."

Even though the study has been going on for a year and a half, the work is nowhere near complete. The next meeting will be on Oct. 30 at the Regent in Brandon.

The community is invited to attend and give input on ways to better move traffic throughout the area.