The following State Reps are in our Realm in North Central Florida realm. Please call each one if you can and
tell them to please vote NO on HB 7113, the Transportation Bill.
Chuck Brannen 850-717-5010
Chuck Clemmons 5021
Bobby Payne 5019
Clovis Watson 5020
Charlie Stone 5022
Stan McClain 5023
This foolish idea by Galvano and some money-seeking businesses is not backed by logic nor planning. The issue was once settled but is now back by a whim of a few people.
Legislators have already heard from the people of Florida and they do not want this. Widening existing roads and raising crucial I-75 bridges will ease congestion and ensure exodus improvements in case of emergencies.
New roads will bring sprawl, motels, gas stations and worst of all developments which Florida can not afford. We have not the water nor the infrastructure for what these concrete coverings would bring.
What we have to gain are congestion, motels, bars, convenient stores, fast food restaurants, gas stations, traffic lights, developments and urban sprawl.
What we have to lose are our springs, ground water, wildlife, rural countryside, tranquility, peace and quiet.
Read this article from the Ocala Star-Banner which is reprinted in the Gainesville Sun.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
By The Ocala Star-Banner
The controversial Florida toll road plan that is Senate President Bill Galvano’s top priority this legislative session was approved last week in that chamber by a vote of 37-1. Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, voted in favor of the so-called M-CORES, short for Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance Program.
Now it is left to the House or Gov. Ron DeSantis to stop this massive project that is more of a notion than a “program.” Consider: There is no estimated price tag attached to what would be the largest infrastructure undertaking since the Florida Turnpike was built in the 1950s. There are no routes definitively mapped out.
The only pubic feedback so far has been vociferous opposition from environmental and farming groups, dozens of them. No one can answer maybe the most basic of questions: Are these particular roads even needed?
There is little doubt Florida has immense highway needs. But the M-CORES Program — three different four-lane toll roads — does not address the state’s worst traffic needs. For example, take a look at Galvano’s proposed extension of the Suncoast Parkway from Crystal River to the Georgia line and the six counties that are likely to be in its path have a combined population of about 100,000.
The toll road plan is being backed by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Ports Council, the Florida Trucking Association and the Asphalt Contractors Association of Florida. Getting a picture of who is certain to benefit from building three cross-state limited access toll roads?
Meanwhile, Galvano is trying to sell M-CORES as an economic development initiative for poor, rural counties. But we all know that a four-lane road does not necessarily ignite an economic boom, as evidenced by the Interstate 10 corridor across the entire Panhandle.
As the bill is written, the Legislature would commit more than $300 million over the next four years for planning purposes. No one can tell us, or even guess, how much the total price tag will be.
Galvano also is promising the Florida Department of Transportation would set up task forces to study economic and environmental impacts of extending the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area to the Georgia border, extending the Florida Turnpike west to the Suncoast Parkway and building a new toll road from Lakeland to Naples. Galvano says these task forces will ensure communities a say in what’s done and how.
Don’t believe him, They had a task force to address Interstate 75 congestion four years ago and its recommendations were totally — totally — ignored.
We urge the House — especially our House members — to stop this runaway road plan until Galvano can answer the most basic questions. There are too many rivers, springs and wildlands that would be damaged or destroyed by such a massive project — and with them a big piece of our quality of life.
Say no to M-CORES and address the critical traffic needs of our urban centers. Meanwhile, how about expanding I-75 to handle today’s traffic?