MPO Adopts Pinellas Transportation Plan
The MPO adopted its Pinellas Transportation Plan (a.k.a., 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan) for Pinellas County at their December 10 meeting. The adoption culminates an extensive process of assessing existing and projected population, socioeconomic and mobility trends in the County, re-assessing local and regional transportation needs and identifying the necessary improvements to address those needs. The Plan is updated every five years and is required by Federal Law in order for the County to be eligible for Federal and State transportation funds.
Public comments provided at the MPO meeting were focused on the Transit Element of the Plan and the direction of future transit services provided by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in the wake of the failed Greenlight Pinellas referendum. The adopted Transit Element includes a "Core" option and a "Coverage" option. These options represent different approaches to providing bus service utilizing existing revenue sources. The Core option directs PSTA's resources to the most productive routes and calls for service cuts to the least productive routes. The Coverage option aims to maintain existing service coverage throughout the County by reducing frequencies, cutting unproductive segments of individual routes, and/or scaling back on the days/hours of service. Both options also involve identifying and implementing efficiency measures that could be achieved through changes in administration or operations. PSTA will continue to analyze the options and conduct community outreach to determine a future vision for transit service in Pinellas County.
FDOT Releases Tentative Five Year Work Program
The new Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 7 Tentative Work Program was recently released and a summary of the Program was presented by FDOT staff at the December 10 MPO meeting. The Work Program covers a five year period from fiscal year (FY) 2015/16 to 2019/20. New to the program are major road expansion projects on US Highway 19 from south of Timberlane Road to south of Lake Street and from 70th Avenue to 118th Avenue. Three corridor studies were added to evaluate traffic conditons and transportation needs and identify improvements on Alternate US Highway 19 in mid and south Pinellas County and Pasadena Avenue in South Pasadena. Public comment on the Work Program can be provided online or at an upcoming workshop hosted by FDOT.
MPO Approves Transportation Improvement Program Update
At their November 12 meeting, the MPO approved the annual update of its fiscal year (FY) 2014/15 through 2018/19 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP is updated in the fall of each year to incorporate the most recently adopted transportation work programs of Pinellas County (map, table), municipal governments (map), airports and Port of St. Petersburg.
With over $235 million in scheduled projects from FY 2014/15 to 2019/20, Pinellas County's work program is the largest of the County's 25 local jurisdictions. Approximately 30 percent of the County's programmed funds committed to specific projects is dedicated to road expansion projects. This is followed by nearly 18 percent of the total funds dedicated to resurfacing, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects (not involving road expansion) and approximately 17 percent committed to Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) projects. New projects added to the County work program include those listed below.
- 118th Ave Expressway (part of Gateway Express project) from east of Roosevelt Boulevard to US Highway 19. This reflects the County's funding contribution to this road expansion project.
- Haines Road reconstruction from 60th Avenue North to US Highway 19.
- Whitney Road/Wolford Road intersection improvement.
- 38th Avenue North/28th Street intersection improvement.
- Alternate US Highway 19/Nebraska Avenue intersection improvement.
- Forest Lakes Road reconstruction from Pine Avenue to the Pinellas/Hillsborough County Line.
- Intelligent transportation improvements on SR 580, Curlew Road, Tampa Road, County Road 1, and 113th Street.
The current TIP was adopted by the MPO at their June 11 meeting. At that time the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 7 and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority work programs are incorporated in the TIP. The TIP is required by Federal and State Law in order for the County to receive federal and state funding for transportation improvements.
Tri-County Trail Project Scheduled for Construction in 2015
Pinellas County's expanding trail system is about to go regional with the scheduling of the design and construction of the Tri-County Trail in 2015. The MPO approved an amendment to its Transportation Improvement Program at their October 8 meeting to schedule the project, which extends from northeast Pinellas County to central Pasco County.
The five-mile Tri-County Trail connects the existing Pinellas Trail at the intersection of East Lake Road and Keystone Road to Starkey Wilderness Park in Pasco County. The trail alignment will utilize County right-of-way along Keystone Road and County-owned land along the Hillsborough/Pinellas County Line before reaching the Park.
The Tri-County Trail is number two on the list of regional multi-use trail priorities in West Central Florida as approved by the region’s MPOs. It is also part of the Florida Coast to Coast Connector Trail, which extends from Pinellas County to Titusville on the east coast. Earlier this year, the State awarded $15 million to complete the Coast to Coast Connector Trail. Pinellas County received $4 million of this allocation to construct the Tri-County project.
About the MPO
The Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) was established in 1977 following the passage of the Federal Highway Act of 1974. The task of the MPO is to develop plans, policies and priorities that guide local decision making on transportation issues. Principal responsibilities include the development of a 20-year Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) a five-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) a two-year Unified Planning Work Program and related transportation planning studies and projects. For more on the role of MPOs, read MPO's: A Primer .
The MPO seeks to improve transportation in the county for all principal modes of travel, including mass transit, walking, and bicycling, as well as automobile. The MPO prioritizes capital improvements to address the county's travel needs and allocates federal funding to implement the projects as identified in the TIP and the LRTP.
MPO Public Involvement Opportunities
MPO places a high value on public
involvement. Presentations are made to professional,
civic and social groups. The MPO also participates
in community-based public involvement events including
public hearings, forums and community fairs.
One way to become involved in transportation
planning is by making a brief presentation on an issue
that deeply concerns you during the "Citizens to be
Heard" segment of the MPO's
monthly meeting. Another way is through
participation on one of the MPO's
advisory committees. Openings occur periodically,
and you are encouraged to apply if you
are interested and willing to make a time
For any questions or comments regarding the contents of this website, please email, mail or telephone the MPO using the contact information below.
The Pinellas County MPO
310 Court Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.
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