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Transportation

Quincy J. Walters / WUSF News

Imagine that you're driving and you approach a blind corner. What you don't know is that another car is approaching at a high rate of speed. Then, your car automatically stops - avoiding a collision on its own. 

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson said that this isn't technology of the future - it's the technology of today. 

"We're bringing transportation into the 21st century," Nelson said. "And Tampa is at the center of it all."

AP

Air traffic controllers' work schedules often lead to chronic fatigue, making them less alert and endangering the safety of the national air traffic system, according to a study the government kept secret for years.

Yoselis Ramos

A plan to expand I-275 and I-4, and build express toll lanes was voted into Hillsborough County's Metropolitan Planning Organization five-year redevelopment plan called TIP.  

The plan, called Tampa Bay Express (TBX), was passed but Les Miller, Chairman of MPO, told the Florida Department of Transportation it had to update the 20-year-old study it is using to justify the plan.

All Children's Buckles Down on Car Seat Safety

Jul 7, 2015

 According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes are one of the top three causes of death among children nationally -- in 2011, they killed 650.

But health experts say that many fatalities can be prevented with the correct use of car seats. That's why All Children's Hospital is buckling down on car seat safety.

This month, All Children's is offering car seat classes to help parents learn the ins and outs of the straps, clips and latches to protect their precious cargo. 

Tow-to-Go

This Fourth of July weekend, intoxicated drivers can get help getting off the road and getting home safely.

Tow-to-Go is a partnership between  AAA and BudLight. Matt Nasworthy, AAA's Traffic Safety Consultant, said impaired drivers can call this Friday through Sunday.

Oregon Department of Transportation

AAA expects more than 40 million Americans to drive at least 50 miles from home this 4th of July weekend. That's the most to travel since 2007.

With so many people on the highways, AT&T is asking drivers to put down their cell phones.

“Put it in a place where they can’t reach it and keep their eyes on the road. That’s our main message – is that we want people to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone,” Karen McAllister, media relations manager for AT&T, said.

After hearing from dozens of people from the neighborhood Thursday, council members unanimously agreed to try putting the brakes on the project, pledging to lobby state lawmakers, members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization and state transportation officials. They also directed city attorneys to explore filing a Title VI complaint with the Federal Highway Administration, arguing that the project would harm a mainly minority population living in the area. Title VI prohibits discrimination in programs that receive federal funding.

Dustin Fox / Instagram

The dense sea fog that's hung around offshore since Monday continues to cause problems for local ports.

However, a break is finally in sight for 2,500 cruise ship passengers - including members of the Ohio State University football team - who've been going in circles in Tampa Bay for the last day and a half.

Express Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay interstates may be getting express toll lanes, but drivers won't see the changes anytime soon.

The plan, called Tampa Bay Express, is in its beginning phase, so it may take almost a decade before drivers see the final product.

To cut down on drive times, current interstates would have additional middle lanes that would require drivers to use a SunPass. These express lanes would alleviate some traffic on the regular highways by offering a faster option to drivers willing to pay the toll.

Advocates for a project that could connect the entire state via bike trails hope to get a chunk of new dedicated funding from Amendment One.

 Tampa International Airport is beginning a three-year expansion and renovation that will cost almost a billion dollars.

The first steps began Tuesday with the closure of some taxi and bus stands near the baggage claims area.

The biggest changes at the airport will be the construction of a massive rental car facility and a people mover that will run for over a mile.

The $943 million project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

HART Launches Financial Transparency Center

Dec 2, 2014
HART

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority is launching an online accountability center letting tax payers in on how HART does business. 

People can see:

The Florida Department of Transportation is the latest state agency to lose its leader, after Governor Rick Scott secured his re-election.

Ananth Prasad has overseen one of Florida’s largest agencies, the Department of Transportation. He’s served as that agency's secretary since Scott was first elected in 2011 and becomes the fourth agency chief to step down since Scott was re-elected. His departure follows turnover at the Florida Department of Children and Families, Corrections, and Environmental Protection.

Three years ago a blistering assessment by a national advocacy group prompted the Florida Department of Transportation to get serious about making the state’s roadways safer for pedestrians and cyclists. After four Florida metropolitan areas were ranked as the most dangerous for pedestrians, FDOT leaders began to consider making design changes such as building narrower lanes.

Proponents of narrower lanes argue that wide, open lanes encourage motorists to hit the gas and endanger pedestrians, while narrow lanes force motorists to slow down.

It's not clear when Tampa's Kennedy Boulevard Bridge might reopen to traffic. A crane atop a barge slammed into the bridge this morning and now the road is closed.

Robin Sussingham

Greenlight Pinellas is not the only mass transportation referendum coming up in the next election.  Polk County is also having its own vote on public transportation -- and it’s own raging debate. The so-called My Ride, My Roads plan will push the sales tax to 8 percent, raising money for road maintenance and greatly expanded bus service in Polk.

FDOT

Do we hear voices raised in songs of thanksgiving? Early this morning, the Florida Department of Transportation reopened the railroad tracks at Fowler Avenue in North Tampa, just east of Nebraska Avenue. 

Kris Carson of the Florida Department of Transportation Tampa office says the annual average daily traffic count is around 48,500, so Fowler is a heavily traveled road.  

Happy Trails!

FDOT

For the next week, your usual commute down Fowler Avenue, just east of Interstate 275 will be detoured.  

Take a look at this map. Florida Department of Transportation says drivers will not be able to pass through the intersection where the railroad crosses Fowler, east of Nebraska Avenue.

The work on the tracks begins October 16th at 9 p.m. The construction continues until complete "weather permitting."  

Mayors Show Support for Pinellas, Polk Transit

Sep 25, 2014
Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

The Tampa Bay Partnership hosted a transportation forum Wednesday in St. Petersburg and the Greenlight Pinellas referendum received lots of attention.

The transportation forum included commissioners from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk Counties, and representatives from the region's transportation authorities.

Both sides on November's mass transit referendum to replace property taxes with a sales tax hike in Pinellas County are gearing up their campaigns for an against Greenlight Pinellas. We recently talked to Randal O'Toole of the libertarian Cato Institute, who claimed light rail doesn't work.

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