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Forward Pinellas wants public feedback on proposed St. Petersburg road projects

Photo of a city landscape
Forward Pinellas
Forward Pinellas
Forward Pinellas is hosting virtual and in-person events this week to discuss potential St. Petersburg road projects.

Forward Pinellas is hosting virtual and in-person events this week to discuss potential St. Petersburg road projects.

Forward Pinellas, is hosting two more “Community Conversations” to discuss potential road projects this week.

The meetings — one in-person, the other online -- are part of the second phase of their Downtown St.Petersburg Mobility Project, which they have collaborated on with the city and the Florida Department of Transportation.

This phase is an opportunity for the county transportation agency to receive public opinion on potential highway and road projects they are working towards.

Amy Elmore, Forward Pinellas’ Communications and Outreach Manager, said that the projects are designed to improve access and connectivity to downtown St. Petersburg.

“We've identified these potential projects based on our analysis, where we're seeing safety issues, as well as quite a bit of outreach that we've already done over the past year, to really get in the community and talk to the community about what they want to see moving forward,” said Elmore.

The major projects the meetings will focus on include I-175, I-375, 3rd & 4th Streets, 4th & 5th Avenues, and Dr. MLK Jr Street and 8th Street.

Forward Pinellas says the potential project on I-175/I-375 includes their modification, redesign or removal to enhance connectivity throughout downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

The street projects cover the possible conversion of one-way streets to two-way roads. The plan would also create a more walkable community, reducing trip lengths, and improving access.

Elmore said that the community has responded at two community conversations last week, as well as at other times, with various opinions on the ideas.

“But really these major projects that we've identified, the I-175 removal, the 375 possible removal or redesign, people are very much in favor of these things that we're hearing. Not everyone, we have kind of a mixed bag,” said Elmore. “But these potential projects that we've identified, were identified because of what we're hearing from our communities today.”

Elmore added that the meetings are open to anyone who cares about equity, safety and connectedness in the future downtown St. Petersburg.

“This is talking about how your children's children will experience St. Pete,” said Elmore. “And nothing can be done to improve St. Pete until Forward Pinellas, the city of St. Petersburg, and FDOT make a plan for it.”

The final two meetings take place this week.

The links to register for the meetings are:

Christina Loizou is a WUSF Rush Family/USF Zimmerman School Digital News intern for the fall of 2021, her second semester with WUSF.